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Ballum one shots/prompts

Chapter Text

Ben pushes his whole front body against Callum’s back. He probs his chin on Callum’s shoulder, half laying down and half in the air. “ Beautiful you are. “ he whispers into Callum’s ear, he fondly strokes his fingers through Callum’s thick brunette hair being mindful not to wake him up. “ I know I always joke about me teasing ya, but I do love ya. “ Ben confesses quietly.

This is one of Ben’s favourite times in the early hours of the morning. If he wakes up first Ben would cuddle against Callum or place different kisses to Callum’s gorgeous body.
Even if they’ve had an argument, Ben would whisper sweet nothings into Callum’s ear.

“ I still can’t believe you held me in the middle of the pub, in your arms. “ Ben confessed, still in disbelief. He stroked up and down Callum’s chest in a warming manner. “ Even when Whitney was about to out you, when your wedding went to shit. You didn’t care about any of that, you only cared about me. “
He stopped talking for a moment, taking in Callum’s peaceful face. “ I’ll always be thankful Cal, I’m still here to annoy the shit out of you. I’m still here to be Lexis dad and watch her grow up. “ his voice cracked, the lump suddenly coming up in his throat. God, he really has become a softy hasn’t he? “ I love you too much to lose ya cal, you’ve made me be me again, to feel like I don’t have to put up an act anymore. “ Ben twirled Callum’s lock around his finger in a gentle curl. “ I just wish you see the impact you have on other too cal, you’re too hard on yourself. “Ben said, in a pitying tone before smirking. “ But your always hard for me anyway, suppose that’s alright then. “ he chuckles to his own joke. He kisses Callum’s shoulder again and lays back down, tucking them both under the quilt. As he snuggled up to his boyfriend.

“ m’did you whisper nothings into my ear again? “ Callum requires half slurring, voice deep with sleep.

Ben smirks, eyes still closed letting Callum kiss his hand. “ Maybe. “

Callum scoffs quietly. “ A right softie you are. “

“ hmm. I’m not a sofie right now I’m I? “ Ben teases, pushing his crotch into Callum’s behind.

“ Mmm I’m tired. “ Callum moans, pushing his head further into the pillow trying to get away from Ben’s countless sloppy kisses. He loves them really.

“ Come on baby. “ Ben whispers, deep in his throat. He wetly kisses Callum’s neck, nuzzling his nose into Callum’s jaw making him laugh from the tickles. Ben carries on with the teasing kisses and snogs lovin’ the giggles coming from his boyfriend.

“ B-Ben stop! “ Callum laughs out loud, placing his hand on Bens bare chest.

“ hmm but you love my kisses! “ Ben protest, he lays Callum on his back and straddles his waist. “ You weren’t complaining last night. “

“ Had my mouthful didn’t I? “ Callum smirks.

A twinkle sets off in bens eye, his smile widening. “ Think my bad influence is rubbing off on ya. “

“ I’m sure I’ll be alright. “ Callum replies, snogging Ben again, he pulls away with a smile when ben chases after his lips. “ And anyway everybody loves a bad boy. “

Ben hums, cupping Callum’s jaw.
“ That’s why you chased after me all those months ago. “

“ hmm. I had that bench wood imprinted on my arse for days! “

“ Wish I could’ve seen my handiwork Cal, I would’ve kissed it better. “

“ and you did - only 2 nights ago. “

Ben leans forward again, brushing his lips against Callum’s. “ think I need reminding again. “

“ hmm I think you do. “

Their lips clashed together, going deep in the covers and had long, heated sex.

Chapter Text

Ben slowly walked into the living room with a groan, holding his side where his wound was. Callum looked up and froze. Ben looked amazing, even when he’s just in his boxers and got his glasses on. How did Callum, a awkward nervous wreck, get a bloke like Ben?

“ enjoying the view are ya?” Ben cocky says, his signature smirk plastered on his scruffy face.

Callum got up from his seat and strolled over to his boyfriend wrapping his arms around Ben’s bare waist. He pressed down a kiss on Ben’s lips, smirking because his boyfriend is a shortie.

“ Stop laughin’ at my height! “ Ben swatted Callum’s chest with a light laugh.

Callum choked on a laugh, patting Ben’s head mockingly.
“ Poor Bennie! “

Ben pushed his crotch into Callum’s making a point.
“ You weren’t saying that last night where ya? “

“ Hmm that’s true, but the shortest of people are always the grumpiest. “

“ Says you! “ Ben screeched out. “ You are so grumpy in the mornings I fear for me life! “

“ Your such a drama queen! “

“ I’m not a queen! “

Callum scoffed, not taking note how their bodies bashed together as they laughed. Their arms still tangled together around each other’s waists.

“ You looked very good in that tara yesterday Ben with Lex putting that make up on ya. “
Callum raised an eyebrow with a teasing smirk, his eyes lightening.

He blushed. “ Shurr’up! “

“ ah come on! You even had that cute little quiff too! “ Callum laughed into Ben’s head when he buried his face in Callum’s chest. “ Embarrassed are ya? “

“ I’m going to get you back for taking that photo I am. “ Ben murmured into Callum’s chest, his words muffled.

Callum grinned harder, rubbing Ben’s back in a smoothing rhythm. “ Hmm never gonna delete it though. I may need it as revenge or something. “

Ben pulled his head off Callum’s chest frowning at him. “ Revenge? Your too good for being on the wrong side of the law. “

“ You never know. “

“ pfft. “ Ben scoffed. “ Your too good Cal, not in a million years can I see ya being bad. “

Callum tilted his head to the side. “ Well I did shoot mick. “

“ what! When? “

“ last January. I shot ‘im in the shoulder. “

“ I can’t believe I’m only hearing this now. “ Ben said in disbelief.

“ A dark horse I am. “

“ hmm, I love a bloke with a gun I do. “

“ you have a gun kink? “

This time Ben tilted to his side, pretending to think. “ More about the bloke who’s holding the gun. “ he smirked. “ I’ll love to see you in your army uniform. “

“ That needs to be earned. “

Ben’s eyes darkened more with lust. “ and what do I have to do to gain your underlying trust? “

Callum carries on rubbing Ben’s back, his hand sliding lower and lower down Ben’s back. “ If you know me so much - you’ll have to work it out. “ Callum shrugged teasingly, the twinkle in his eyes beaming.

“ I’m always up for a challenge I am. “

And didn’t he succeed in the challenge ( it took 3 weeks but that wasn’t mentioned. Only it was - Callum teased him for a solid 60 minutes).

Chapter Text

“ Ben! It ain’t funny! “ Callum hissed down the phone.

Ben laughed harder down the phone. “ Oh it is though! “

“ Ben I could get seriously hurt! “ Callum whined, frustrated that his boyfriend isn’t getting the crucial point.

“ Pfft I’m sure your army training will protect ya! “

Callum huffed. “ All I was supposed to do was help Mrs Smith and now I’m lost! “

“ well that’s what happens when you help people. “

“ it’s called being nice. “ Callum reminded him bluntly.

“ it’s called being in the pain in the arse. I can’t cuddle up to my boyfriend now because he’s lost somewhere in West - East London. “

“ sometimes I wish you were more sincere Ben. “ Callum grumbled, Ben could tell Callum was walking by the rusting down the phone.

“ Come on don’t be like that. “ Ben told him softly. “ I was very sincere this morning. “

“ sex doesn’t count. “

“ Oh yes it does. Especially when I’ve given you the best blowjob in the world. “

“ wouldn’t go that far. “ Callum muttered.

Ben faked outraged, with a gasp. “ Callum! “ he pronounced each 2 part with over exaggeration. “ Are you sayin’ the Ben Mitchell experience wasn’t top notch? “

“ Yes Ben. “ Callum’s voice light. “ I felt it wasn’t as good as other times. “ he deadpanned.

“ Well we have to do something about that then won’t we? “

“ Hmm may have too. “ Callum commented, concentrated.

Ben frowned, Callum sounded strange like he saw something and concentrating hard on something. “ what’s wrong? “ Ben wasn’t bothered he sounded worried.

“ Some men are beating up a bloke. “ Callum explained, he sounded angry. “ gotta go. “

“ No Callum don’t go -“ but the line went dead. Ben got up from the sofa jogging to get his trainers on quickly before getting his keys and practically flying out of the house. He can’t believe his idiotic boyfriend is about to play hero with a bunch of blokes.

Ben desperately tries to block out the flashbacks of Paul being beaten to death as he retraces Callum’s footsteps.

-/-

After 90 minutes of searching for Callum and calling him frantically Ben finally finds him slump against a alleyway wall.
Ben runs to him automatically fearing for the worst because he’s not moving. Only, Callum is barley awake.

“ Cal, Callum -come on wake up. “ Ben pleads, trying to wake up his semi conscious boyfriend. After a few minutes ( which feel like years ), Callum slowly wakes up with a groan, every nerve ending is screaming in agony. Like his body is seething with furry for him putting his body through this.

Ben breaths out a breath he didn’t know he was holding, Callum doesn’t register Ben cupping his jaw.

“ How’you find me? “ Callum says in the back of his throat, even talking is taking everything out of him.

“ Never mind that! Look at ya! “ Ben stresses and he has a right to be stressed. Callum looks dreadful and Ben would never call his good looking boyfriend dreadful. Callum has blood all over his face, bottom lip & right eyebrow cut open, bruising already forming over his face.

Ben stands up bending down at the knees to lift Callum up, who feels like deadweight.
“ when your feeling better, I am going to be so mad at you - you wish I didn’t find ya! “

“ mmm. “ Callum hums drowsy, his head falling onto Ben’s shoulder. Ben basically carried Callum to his car with a lot of huffing and puffing. Callum is a tall bloke okay? How would you feel if you had to carry someone who’s 5 foot 9, is basically deadweight and your a midget?

Ben pushes Callum into the passenger seat and has bit of difficulty putting his legs in and head. But he manages so far, he shakes Callum awake giving him water before driving off back to his house.

He is going to go off at Callum when they get home.

-/-

Sooo - Ben dropped Callum.
Not like Callum noticed, what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him right? Right? Wrong, kind of. Anyways, Ben placed ( as gently as he could with aching arms - god bless his muscles ) his lover on the sofa. Who rolled his head, mumbled something and slobbed out. Ben sighed, he got the frozen peas and pushed them against Callum’s face.

With unnecessary amount of force, but he can just say he didn’t want anymore swelling for his Callum. Not that Ben was taking out some of his anger through kindness. Of course not....

Ben checked for any swelling on Callum’s head and there weren’t, he put it down to mild/major concession. He has suddenly got a doctors degree and seems to know what he’s talking about.

In which, he should know, the amount of times people have wallop him one he’s surprised he gets through a day without a bruise being supported on his face.

Ben dragged Callum up the stairs, not wanting Lexi to get frightened by Callum’s face
( he would laugh at his own thoughts if the moment was right ). He placed Callum in their bed and started to take off his suit. Ben took note of the scattered bruises on his abdomen and chest too, Callum probably has bruised ribs by looking at them.

It has now been 3 hours since Ben found his boyfriend and brought him home. He kinda regrets not taking him to the hospital but it’s probably confession anyway.

Whilst Ben sits next to his boyfriend watching him sleep he sees Callum’s hand twitch and Ben’s alert. “ Callum? “

“ ugh I feel dreadful. “ Callum groans out.

“ Yeh you fucking look it! “ Ben raises his voice watching as Callum winces.

“ Do you know how terrified I’ve been!? “

“ I’m fine. “

“ fine? Fine! “ Ben gets up from the bed and starts pacing.
“ you could have died! “

“ and I didn’t. “ Callum weakly defends.

“ YOU COULD HAVE DIED LIKE PAUL CALLUM! “

Callum sighs, at least he has the decency to look ashamed.
“ I’m sorry. “ he murmurs. Ben’s face softens to a fraction.
“ but I saw these blokes beating up a teenager! I couldn’t just walk past like I saw nothin’!”

Ben sighs, retreats. Only Callum can calm him down quickly.
He walks over and sits on the bed holding Callum’s hand stroking the skin with a thumb.

“ I hate seein’ you hurt. I couldn’t have another boyfriend being beaten to death, I barely survived Paul. If the same happened to you? I don’t think I would function at all. “

“ I didn’t mean to upset ya. “

“ just - when your playing hero try not to put yourself into danger yeh? “

“ I try my best. “

“ no Callum take me seriously. “ Ben firmly said. “ I love you too much to ask Jay for a funeral discount for your casket! “

Callum choked on a surprised laugh. “ charmin’. “

Ben ignored the comment. “ I want you here with me, I want you to be your stupid naive self for a long time. Me and Lex need ya Cal. “

Callum looked down, avoiding Ben’s eyes at all costs. Suddenly it’s getting all too serious and he can’t handle it.

“ Yous don’t need me. “ Callum said before he even thought about it.

Ben gripped Callum’s hand tighter. “ Yes we do! Lex loves your stories about dragons or knights fighting to save the ice cream princess. “ Callum weakly smiled at that and that encouraged Ben to carry on.
“ We love your home made cookin’, or you trying to do something and it goes to shits. Or you teaching Lexi how to roller skate and you fell arse first. “

“ that hurt that did. “ Callum piped in.

“ Well by the massive bruise on your arse and lower back show, then yeh. “ Ben mentioned.
“ what I’m saying is - we both need you, practically the whole square needs a bit of Highway in their lives. “

Callum chuckled whilst blushing. “ alright alright you’ve made ya point. “

“ so you’ll stop acting like a hero then? “

“ I’ll stick to the day job. “

“ good. “ Ben smiled, placing his lips against Callum’s, cheekily slipping in a tongue halfway in.
“ love you. “

“ love you too. “

“ You can cook dinner tonight. “ Ben told him casually when he pulled away.

“ what? Why! I’m broken! “

“ well you’ll be fixed in a few weeks! “ Ben shrugged, jokingly.

Callum groaned again. “ fine. Spag Bol? “

“ with meatballs. “ Ben informed. “ I love a good wet, meaty ball I do. “

“ Jesus Christ Ben. I don’t think I can look at one the same now.”

“ oh come on! You love the balls. “

“ okay stop now. “

“ and the sausages. “ Ben carries on. “ especially the thick long -“

Callum jokingly slaps him across the head as Ben covers.

Chapter Text

“ Babe! “

“ what? “ Callum called from downstairs in the Beale’s house. He didn’t look up from the computer when Ben walked down the stairs in just his boxers and a thick navy gown hung from his shoulders.

“ You dropped Lex off at school? “

Callum nodded, still looking at flats. “ yeh, got her on time. “

Ben sat next to his boyfriend wrapping his arm around Callum’s shoulder. He played with the short hairs on Callum’s neck by his ear.

“ How’s flat searching going? “

“ Barely anything. “ Callum grumbles.

“ We’ll find somewhere Cal. “ Ben murmured, pecking Callum’s cheek before shuffling closer to him.

Callum sighs, fed up. All the flats he’s been ( and Ben ) looking for have been too dear, miles away from Walford and only have 2 bed. There isn’t anything that is reasonable price, 3 bed, liveable living room and kitchen with a Okay bathroom. They’re not asking for much.

“ well I can work more at the arches? “

“ We barely see you as it is. “ Callum pouts, playing with Ben’s hand. Ben looked down and didn’t say anything because it is true. He’s been working over time lately, he barley sees Lexi or Cal and when he does it is for a solid 5 to 10 minutes. Only today he can go to work a bit later, it’s the same for Callum too. He’s done all the work, there isn’t much to do now.
He’s even started to work in The Queen Vic, but the money isn’t drawing enough for London prices.

“ We’ll think of something babe, can’t lose hope can we? “ he grinned softly, nudging his boyfriends shoulder.

“ no- no its not that. “

Ben frowned, sensing Callum has more to say. “ but? “

“ I could go back to the army? “

“ no. “ Ben firmly said.

“ but I -“

Ben turned his whole body to Callum, a stern expression on his face. “ no, I don’t want you goin’ back out there babe. “ he said, a slight tremor in his voice. “ I can’t lose ya. “

“ you won’t. “ Callum assured, squeezing Ben’s hand.

“ You got that scar on your right side from being out there. “ Ben bluntly said. “ what if I get you back in a cardboard box? “

Callum ignored the last comment. “ But the pay is good, I could do that get the money for us three. “

Ben shook his head pulling away from Callum, not caring he’s been stubborn and unreasonable. “ I don’t want another one of my boyfriends dead Callum. “ he told him, whilst getting his coat. “ if you can’t understand that -“ he trailed off, a shrug of the shoulders. He still pressed a kiss to Callum’s forehead and lips before heading to work.

Callum watched him go with a unreadable facial expression. He’s been thinking about going back to the Army lately, it wasn’t ever about the money when he first started. However, now it kinda is. He misses his mates, misses helping and laughing and once or loads of times smoking with them. But the pay is good, especially if he does it for about 6/9 months.

Maybe he could get Ben round to the idea?

-/-

Callum stood in their bedroom looking at his army uniform. He misses wearing it, he hasn’t worn it in a long time, 2 years maybe?

And before he even registers it, he’s putting the camouflage uniform on. It feels great, it feels great on him and he looks good. He isn’t a vein bloke, but since going for longer runs and more lifting up barrels from the basement of The Vic. He has become toned and it shows.

He doesn’t even hear anyone coming into the room till he hears a impressive whistle before a very amazed Ben speaks. “ wow. “ his eyes trail down his boyfriends lean, tall body. God, his boyfriend is a model.

Callum turns to him with a blush seeping up from his neck. He isn’t use to compliments and he always blushes when Ben does compliment him. He loves it.

“ You look - wow -“

“ who knew Ben Mitchell would be speechless? “ Callum teases. Ben walks over to him still in shock, he wraps his arms around Callum’s waist and kisses his boyfriend hard and wet on the lips.

“ Fucking hell Babe. You look like a model’. “

Callum chuckles, ducking his head onto Ben’s shorter shoulder. “ nah I ain’t. “

“ Yes you are! Look at ya. “ Ben protests, sliding his hands down to Callum’s plump arse. He grabs the butt cheeks and squeezes as he makes a moaning sound.

“ How did I get someone so fit?”

Callum pushes Ben tighter into his body and wraps his arms tighter around his waist.
“ Hmm your fitter. “

“ You’re sexier. “

“ Guess we have to disagree to agree then. “ Callum smiles against Ben’s lips.

Ben pulls away slightly to speak. “ Do I need to show you how fit you are again? “

Callum breathily laughs, remembering that time, months ago, when Ben fucked him senseless for 2 hours and admired Callum’s body. When Callum was having a bad day, his insecurities raising their ugly heads. Let’s say, Ben will be happily to show and have long slow sex to get Callum to see how fucking attractive he is.

“ you may have too. “

“ babe. “ Ben moans, his head bending backwards as his crotch pushes into Callum’s hard on. He thrives the moments when Callum is being confident and starts to suduce Ben.

“ You loving that you, baby? “ Callum whispers, sticking his second finger into Ben’s hole.

“ Fucking hell - I’m gonna cum - nobody’s made me want to cum this fast before. “ Ben moans and groans and grips Callum’s shoulders as support. He can feel his legs beginning to buckle.
The moment of Callum standing in his army uniform long forgotten now, they are more preoccupied.

“ Fuck fuck fuck - I’m - I’m gonna cum -“ Ben pants. Callum plays inside in him teasing and mocking, moving in and out in slow and then fast rhythms.

“ Cum for me baby. “ Callum commands, lust making his voice deep.

And Ben cums hard. He bloody cums in his pants and isn’t even naked. That is what he calls “ The Callum Highway effect. “ Callum’s words not his.

Ben pants into Callum’s chest, Callum pulls his hand out and kisses Ben’s slightly sweaty hair. “ You okay baby? “

“ hmm. I’ve never orgasmed like that before from just finger fucking. “ Ben breathlessly states, kissing Callum’s neck.

“ I’m pleased I’ve done my duty. “

Ben laughs into Callum’s chest. He pulls away from him throwing off his clothes into the washing basket. “ why are you in your uniform? “ Ben asks him curiously and confused. He puts on his shorts and thick navy gown. He watches his boyfriend neatly take off his clothes too.
“ If you’ve accepted to go back to the army I will actually kill ya. “ Ben threatens without any actual heat behind his word.

“ I haven’t joined again. “ Callum answers the question.
“ I just saw it there and decided to put it on. “ he says nonchalantly.

Ben upturns his mouth and nods. “ Well you can wear that any time babe, because you look fit as fuck. “

“ You have a uniform kink or something? “ Callum turns to him amused.

Ben fakes surrender. “ whatever gets it going.” He says, not really answering Callum’s question but Callum can see the little twinkle of truth in his blue eyes.

“ Kinki Bastard. “ Callum mutters and yelps a second later when Ben rolls a towel up and smacks Callum’s arse with it.

“ Oi! “

“ what! Your arse looks amazing! “

Callum scoffs, shaking his head fondly at him watching him stroll over to him and gently pinches the skin. “ Babe, come on stop it. “

“ mmm no can do I’m afraid. “ Ben fakes shown bothered.
“ It’s against the law to not pinch a beautiful plump arse. “

Callum lets out a laugh. “ Under What law? “

“ the gay law. “ Ben actually says it like it is a law.

“ Well I didn’t hear of this? “ Callum plays along.

“ best get researching then babe. “ Ben smiles, kisses Callum’s lips once again and walks to the bedroom door. He stops and turns with a smile.
“ Your cooking. “

“ takeaway. “

“ Lazy. “ Ben cheekily says and walks out.

“ not as lazy as you heavy! “

“ Your gonna get a smack if you carry on calling me heavy! “ Ben calls out in a fast pace, his London accent coming in deep force again.

Chapter Text

Ben rang Callum’s number for the millionth time only for it to go straight to voicemail. He is panicking till the point where he is struggling to breathe.
Lexi, his little baby girl, is missing. He only left her in the park for a few minutes to get her some ice cream, when he came back she was gone. Disappeared from the face of the Earth.
He checked everywhere, every single angle and spot within Walford. He cried, screamed and became a madman.
Only, his boyfriend, Callum, wasn’t answering his calls. He always answered them but it’s Ben’s 30th call and it’s a dead end.

Ben sits in his car, with the engining revenging trying to think. He didn’t see anything suspicious when he and his daughter were in the park. It brings a shiver down his spine knowing they were being watched.

Jay, Lola, Kathy - the whole square are looking for her.

His phone rings loudly, he grabs for it with an instant frown.
A private number.

“ hello? “

“ Ben. “ His blood runs ice cold.
“ you really shouldn’t leave your sweet daughter alone on her own, anyone could get their grubby hands on her. “

“ YOU GIVE ME BACK MY DAUGHTER-“

“ now now, calm your sweet hands down Ben. You don’t want anything to happen to them. “

“ them? “ Ben repeated, feeling sick.

He flinches at the laugh down the phone. “ Oh didn’t I not tell you? Your boyfriend is quite the mouthy gob ain’t he? “ the man chuckles darkly. “ Shame he so quiet now, the place is just so so silent with the both of them asleep. “

“ why - why’ve you done this? “ Ben asked, tears running down his cheeks, nothing compares to this wrenching feeling of his heart being pulled.

“ Remember what I told you Ben? If I don’t get my money I’ll take what’s most important to ya? Well I have - both of ‘em. “

“ p-please don’t hurt them. “ Ben pleaded.

“ Hmm no can do I’m afraid. “ The man winces. Ben feels the anger bubbling up, if he’s done anything to his innocent daughter- “ Now I wouldn’t ever hurt a girl, not a kid, I’m not that cold blooded. It makes my skin crawl thinking of those sickos hurting children. So, instead, your boyfriend has been taking the beaten for the two of them. “

Flashes of Paul being beaten rush through his mind. He can’t see Callum beaten to death, his broken body laying there.

He can’t lose Callum.

“ I’ll - I’ll do anything please - just don’t touch them. Don’t - don’t hurt them please. “

“ Ben Mitchell begging? Wow, they really are important to you aren’t they? “

“ Just give them back to me please! “ Ben cries, pushes his head back against the headboard.

“ Hmm should I? Or shouldn’t I? I’m having too much fun though Ben. I love a Mitchell in desperate need and I have the whole power. “

“ If you touch them your dead! “ Ben hisses, venom lacing his words.

“ Are you sure you want to make empty threats? Knowing that I’ve got your boyfriend and kid? “

Ben sighs in frustration. “ please just tell me what to do. “

“ Which one is most important to you Ben? “ the man asks him instead, completely ignoring what Ben just said.

“ what? “ Ben lets out, frozen.

“ which one is most important to you? “ the man repeats, casually.

“ W-Why? “

“ I want to know so I can beat one of them up to a pulp if I don’t get my money. “

“ y-you don’t mean that. “

“ Don’t I? “ The man smirks, Ben can feel it. “ Do you really want to find out? “ a pause. “ meet me at the abandoned garage in East London - 5pm. Do not be late or you won’t get either of them alive. “ The phone cuts dead.

Ben hysterically punches the starring wheel again and again till his knuckles bleed and ache. He can’t choose, it is impossible to choose between Callum and Lexi. He loves them both unconditionally, he’ll rather die than to pick. He can’t live a life with one of them not there.

-/-

“ You WHAT?! “ Phil yells at his son. “ One of your stupid- stupid deals has knocked your family into danger again! “

“ I know! “ Ben raises his voice in frustration. “ don’t you think I know? You know how much I hate myself -“

“ - don’t you fucking dare Ben. “ Phil warns him coldly. “ Don’t you dare do the pity party with me. You are the cause of them being kidnapped! Whatever happens to them you are responsible and I don’t think I could ever forgive you if something happens to Lexi or flippin’ Callum. “

“ you - you care about Callum? “ Ben repeats, something bursts in his chest. Does his dad finally accept him?

“ You’re seriously asking me that, now? When your daughter and boyfriend are in the hands of a dangerous man? “

Ben doesn’t answer, just feels so stupid and ashamed.

Phil walks over to the table getting his keys and phone. He walks past Ben whilst talking.
“ Come on before we’re too late.”

The drive is silent, only the judgement glances from Phil with the adding huffing and sighing. Ben can’t stop his leg bouncing up and down as he glances at his phone every 2 seconds.

Till Phil breaks the silence.

“ I do care about Callum, I’ve always liked him. Yeh he can be a bit thick sometimes and sometimes I want to cave his skull in to try to find his brain. But, I respect him. He’s a good one, a thick one, but a good one. “

Ben looked at his dad with his eyes glistening with unshed tears. He feels like he is accepted, it may not be much, but it means so much to Ben.

“ thank you dad. “

“ hmm. Don’t push it. “ Phil grumbles, and with a rare sight. He ghostly smiles at Ben.
“ I wouldn’t be surprised if he left you after this or Lola takes Lexi from ya, your really testing the people who love you Ben. “

“ I know. “ He whispers. He just hopes he’ll be forgiven and he’ll have both of them back and safe with him.

-/-

“ ah you’re early! “ The man cheers, in a fake happy tone.
“ You’ll have to wait 10 minutes I’m afraid. “

“ why? “ Phil answers him.

The man shrugs, with a smirk on his face. He doesn’t answer Phil, instead looking at Ben. “ Your daughter is quite the chatty box, Ben. “

A dark shadow rushes through his face and launches himself to the man only to have Phil roughly pull him back.

“ Don’t you even dare talk about her! If you’ve hurt ya I’ll kill ya! “

The man laughs. “ I’ve done nowt, like I said on the phone call. You’re boyfriend has been taking the beatings. “

“ We’ve got the money. “ Phil informs him. “ just give us them and we’ll leave. “

The man winces, looking at his watch. “ 5 minutes to go. “

“ Fucking hell just -“

“ Ah that’s what Callum said, just before one of my mates walloped him one. “ the man sighs heavily, disappointed.
“ You two aren’t exactly a barrel of laughs are ya? “

“ what do you expect? You’ve -“

The man groans in annoyance.
“ yes I’ve kidnapped them, what do you expect? You struggle to pay me, I take what’s precious to ya and I get paid in full. “

“ your sick. “

“ hmm, at least I’m not a murderer Ben. “ The man bites back, before clasping his hands together and walking towards the two Mitchell’s. He takes the paper bag of money off Phill and suspects. “ Bring Lexi out. “ he calls out.

and then all they hear is running and the shout of daddy!

Lexi runs to her dad, obviously distressed and he picks her up and holds her close. He kisses her forehead, holding his princess so tight like his life does depend on it.

“ where’s Callum? “ Phil asks.

“ We’re bringing him out now. “ the man grins, mischievously.

and they do bring him out. By the arms. Ben passes his daughter to his dad and runs towards his boyfriend. He falls to his knees, skids to Callum’s unconsciousness frame.

Ben shakes Callum’s broken body, seeing his own tears drop onto Callum’s face. The memories of Paul come back again and that sickening emotion hits him 100 times harder.

“ he ain’t dead. “

“ He fucking looks it! “ Ben’s voice breaks. “ Cal, Callum wake up! Please, baby, wake up I’m here! “ he sobs.

“ aw isn’t that sweet, nicknames ‘and all! “ The man smiles nastily, he gestured for his guards to follow him. “ You never mess with me Mitchell. “Before walking out, leaving the mayhem to unfold.

“ Mmm. “ Callum groans, in agony. Ben gasps with relief.

“ cal, it’s alright, it’s Ben. “

“ What’s ‘rong with him? “ Lexi asks her granddad quietly.

“ he’s just - tired. “ Phil weakly lies, before taking her outside to not distress her even more.

“ Cal no, no don’t fall back to sleep on me. “ Ben pleads, shaking him again. Callum’s eyes look so exhausted and heavy, it looks like it’s taking everything out of him to just keep them open.

“ m’so tired. “ He whispers.

“ You can sleep for ages when we get home, I just need to take ya to the hospital. “

“ Mmm. “ Callum hums in his throat, his eyes already closed. He feels like he is slipping away, he feels Ben’s distant shouts and shakes of his body but at the same time he doesn’t.
“ love you Ben Mitchell. “ Highway tells him, barely a whisper.

“ n’no don’t say it like that Cal, don’t you dare say it like that! “ Ben cries, distressed. “ Don’t leave me, please don’t I need ya, both of us need ya. “ he rocks Callum’s body close to his chest feeling his boyfriend go limp.

And that’s when his whole world collapses into millions of pieces.

-/-

“ You can see him now. “ The Doctor smiles kindly, letting Ben into Callum’s room. He breathes out a breathe he didn’t know he was holding. Callum is awake.

“ God Cal I was so - worried. “ Ben breaks down again, he sits on the edge of the hospital bed as close as possible to him. Callum tuts fondly, wrapping his arms around the other man and gently hugging him.

“ I’m fine. “ Callum soothes, rubbing Ben’s back.

“ I - I’m so so so sorry Callum. “

“ This wasn’t your fault. “ Calum knows. “ You didn’t mean for us to be kidnapped. “

Ben pulls away from him he can’t believe this man is this forgiving. “ But - but cal he beat ya! Look at ya! “

“ I’ll live. “

“ you barely survived! “

Callum looks at his boyfriend dead in the eye. “ Ben I am fine, you didn’t mean for us to get kidnapped. I knew what I was letting myself into when I wanted us together. “ He said truthfully, holding Ben’s hand as he subconsciously played with his fingers. “ i knew you would do dodgy deals and all that, I don’t hate ya. “

“ You should. You should run a mile from me. “

Callum shook his head, a smile tugging at his lips. “ no can do I’m afraid, you’ve marked me Mitchell and you’ll never leave me. “

“ What did I ever do to deserve you? “ Ben asked quietly, he really doesn’t deserve this man.

“ you didn’t do anything Ben. You deserve happiness. “

“ I’m going to stop the dodgy deals. “

“ don’t stop because of me Ben.” Callum told him, shifting on the bed.

Ben shortly nods his head, to himself. “ I don’t ever want to go through this again. I felt like I died when Lexi went missing and found out you were too. “

“ I’ll support ya, no matter how much you annoy me. “ Callum joked. Ben didn’t comment, opting to just hug him being mindful of the injuries.

-/-

Callum is discharged from the hospital and Ben drove him back home to Ben’s mums house. Callum hugged the life out of Lexi when he spotted her on the sofa. She cried seeing his injuries ( and they were horrific ) but she calmed down, after Callum told her that he is fine.

Ben helped him up the stairs, later on. He checked on Lexi again, before popping back into his bedroom. He smiled to himself seeing Callum sleep peacefully, Ben quietly got into bed and lay beside him. He traced the bruises and cuts on his boyfriends face. He felt so guilty, he will do anything to make Callum feel better.

He’ll never put his family into danger again.

“ I’m awake you know. “ Callum spoke out into the silence, letting Ben carry on touching him. He can barely see Ben, two of his eyes are massively swollen.

“ I can see that. “ Ben whispered. “ I’m glad you’re alive. “

“ me too. “ Callum slowly reached for Ben’s hand to hold it. “ I’m glad I’m here with you and Lexi again. “

“ I wouldn’t have stopped searching for you if he didn’t tell me where you were, you know. “ Ben confessed. “ I was like a madman possessed. “

“ the usual then. “ Callum joked weakly.

“ How do you always do that? “

“ what? “

“ make me smile or laugh when I’m down? “

“ Cos I’m a joke aren’t I? “

“ Don’t say that. “

Callum closed his eyes, fully shut. “ I wouldn’t ever let anyone hurt lex you know? “ he admitted, changing the topic. “ I fought them but I think I made her more scared. “

“ you didn’t do anything wrong Cal. You were protecting my little girl. “

“ I love her as much as I do you.”

“ I can see it whenever your with her, or talk about her. You get that twinkle in your eye. “

“ she’s a right character. “

They were interrupted with a knock to their door. “ Yeh? “

The door slowly opened and Lexi came in looking vulnerable.

“ What’s wrong? “ Ben got off the bed to crouch down to his daughter.

“ can I sleep in your bed? I’m scared I might get taken again. “ She told him quietly.

“ Yeh of course. “ he smiled, picking her up to place her in the bed. She held her teddy to her chest and hugged Callum who wrapped his free arm around her.

“ I’m happy your safe Callum. “

“ me too princess. “ Callum whispered. Ben stroked his fingers through Lexis hair contently.

“ Callum’s safe now, he’ll get better won’t you. “ He pointed at Callum who nodded.

“ nothing can get rid of me. “

“ Well expect bugs. “ Ben piped in.

“ And wasps! “ Lexi shouted.

“ Spiders too! “

“ yeh alright. I don’t need two Mitchell’s ganging up on me do I? “ Callum defended himself.

“ Hmm. Come on, let’s go to sleep. “ Ben sighed, noticing Lexie’s eyes become heavy. He lay back down with Lexi cuddled up to him and Callum too, the three of them huddled together and went to sleep.

( and if Lola checked on them and took a photo of them three with a soft smile. Who needs to know? )

( okay maybe she sent it to Ben because it was adorable).

Chapter Text

Ben smirked casting his eyes at the beautiful wet form in front of him. Who didn’t have a clue he was there.

“ Well well well isn’t this a lovely surprise? “ Ben tilted his head to the side, biting his bottom lip. He held back the laugh when Callum jumped like a cat to face Ben. He looked horrified, gripping the towel around his hips tighter.

“ h-how you get in here? “ Callum stuttered, still in shock, quite surprised he hasn’t had a heart attack.

“ I let myself in. “ Ben said casually.

Callum frowned, a unsettling feeling washing over him. “ the door was locked. “

“ yeh I know. “

“... you broke in? ....“ Callum still needed to process this information. He can’t believe Ben had broken in, a little strange to be honest with you.

Ben sighed heavily, now moving his head in a straight line to face Callum with a bored look. “ yes Callum. It wasn’t that hard to be honest, you should get a lock that needs a bit more of a budging! “

“ How - how many times have you just - let yourself in? “ and now Callum is genuinely curious.

“ Loads. I sometimes sneak in when your sleeping and sit there watching ya. “ As weird as this conversation was, Ben looked and sounded so normal. He even had this cute little soft look on him. Ben smirked more as Callum’s face changed to look more disturbed. “ You shouldn’t be sleeping with your mouth open Cal, you’ll wake up with an aching throat in the morning. “

Callum can’t believe how caring Ben sounds. All he was doin’ was having a shower and about to order a takeaway, but now he’s chatting with Ben. Who let himself in and finding out he watches him - sleep...?

“ there’s always water on my bedside table. “ The confusion still plastered in Callum’s voice.

“ yeh I know, I always put a glass full of water there! “ Ben explained. “ I tuck you in a bit more when the covers have slid off the bed, I tidy your flat - because cal it’s a pigstie! “ Ben gestured to the messy living room. Callum moved his body slowly to see Ben’s explication. And Yes - the room is messy he’s got to admit.

“ What - what do you actually do when your here? “ Callum still hasn’t moved from standing opposite Ben, only half realising he’s dripping wet and there’s a puddle surrounding his feet.

Callum hasn’t ever seem Ben blush before. Till now, he has this sweet embarrassed smile on his face. God. If Callum wasn’t already in love with him - he definitely is now. “ Talk to ya getting things off my chest, trace different shapes on your body, gently kiss ya, tidy your flat and stuff. “

“ and then you leave? “

“ yes. “

“ you know any sane person would ask to see them? “

“ well I ain’t sane I’m I? “

Callum’s lips curl into a smirk.
“ that’s what makes you unique. “

Ben chuckles at that comment.
“ sometimes I just want be in your company. “ Ben awkwardly shrugs.

“ Aww! “ Callum mocks, with a teasing smile. “ Ben Mitchell being a softie! “

“ shut your face. “ Ben replies back, without any heat in his words.

Callum laughs before shrugging himself. “ well you can stay here if you want. We can have a takeaway and watch a movie? “

Callum can see Ben’s eyes lightening up and has a soft smile there. “ Sounds perfect. “

“ I’ll just get changed. -“

“ nah I’ll much prefer you like this. Nice and wet. “

“ Perve. “

“ You love it though. “

“ hmm. “ good that I love you then isn’t it? Went unsaid. Callum walked to his bedroom blushing when Ben made an impressive whistle looking at Callum’s plump arse.

Callum ordered the takeaway - Dominos and it was the full works - and they sat half slumped on the settee. They both were watching some random movie that Callum found and it was the best time. They ate the food, drank beers, occasionally brushed their hands together till the point where they were practically inter-whined with each other.

Callum fell asleep first, on Ben’s chest. Ben was too busy talking and eating when he finally realised Callum had been quiet. He smiled softly, he ran his fingers through the messy darker brunette hair and let himself relax even more.

He wants more of this, them, together.

Ben actually sees a future with Callum, Lexi calling Callum Dad, Lexi having loads of brothers and sisters in a nice house.

Himself and Callum married.

Ben wants the full works - he just hopes Callum feels the same.

/-/

A few weeks later Callum has nearly forgotten about Ben breaking and entering his home. Till, one night he wants to wonder if Ben is still doing it.
So he stays up and god it is painful because he’s so tired that he is nearly drifting off.

When Callum feels his head looping forward the noise of the lock being unlocked awakens him. He sits up a little straighter and strains to hear any more movement.

Callum sees Ben creep in quietly and god he looks dead fit, even in the early hours of the morning. In the dark Callum can still see Ben’s beautiful face, full of concentration and something else that he can’t put his finger on.

Ben walks into Callum’s room quietly expects to see his lover laying in bed asleep. But no. He isn’t, the bed is empty. Ben frowns, he knew Callum went home after their date ( would you call it a date? A hangout with someone you love? )

Ben walks back into the living room looking around the dark room not seeing anything out of the ordinary. Only -

“ I’m here if your wondering. “

Ben gasps loudly and jumps out of his skin. “ Fucking hell! “

“ serves you right for sneaking into peoples homes. “ Callum deadpans. He switches the light on and Ben is clutching his chest still.

“ you could’ve given me a heart attack! “

“ and your being a stalker again! You only saw me 3 hours ago! “

“ I only missed ya! It’s like a routine now! “ Ben accidentally blurts out.

Callum smirks. “ a routine? “ he pretends he’s writing down on his palm of his hand. “ On a Monday I break into Cals flat at 2 ‘o’ clock in the morning. On a Tuesday I meet up -“

“ yeh alright. “ Ben brushes his sarcasm off.

Callum lets his arms fall to either side and stands awkwardly. Ben copies the position too.

“ Soo. “

“ soo. “

“ You want to go to bed with me? “

“ to do what? “

“ sleep Ben. “ Callum pointedly states.

“ I’ve got a bed at mums. “

“ just offering. If you miss me so much. “ Callum says softly, this time without any teasing. Ben nods gently.

“ okay. “

Ben gets dressed into just his briefs and Callum too. They get into bed and Callum suddenly becomes in charge, taking Ben into his side and wrapping his long arms around Ben’s waist. Ben rests his head on Callum’s chest, tucking himself further into Callum. Feeling himself fall deeper in love, with his heart clench more and doubles in size.

“ I love you. “ Ben murmurs, doesn’t mean to say it but it just comes out.

“ I love you too. “ Ben feels Callum press a kiss on top of Ben’s head. They hug each there tighter before falling asleep in each other’s embrace.

Both of them feeling their hearts are doubling in size.

Chapter Text

Callum walked to the front door of his flat ( he can’t believe it’s his flat now - Whitney now gone. He felt ashamed he still has it ), and opened it after the multiple of knocks.

Callum stood there surprised to see Ben there, still in that beautiful burgundy suit. Callum was looking at Ben the whole time, he wished he was marrying him - till Callum called it off. At the alter no doubt.

“ B-Ben? Why you ‘ere for? “ He wasn’t expecting to even have any interaction with the other man now. Since Callum revealed that he loves another man in front of everyone - he’d thought Ben would run a mile by now.

Ben clocked his head to the side. “ you ain’t letting me in first? “

As if it just dawned on him, that they were still standing with the door wide open. Callum let his lover in, Ben ( deliberately ) brushed his hand past Callum’s as he took in the surrounds and frowned.

“ You running off? “ Ben commented, seeing the scattered clothes and accessories with a suit and other bag. Callum thought for a moment he heard panic in the other man’s voice but he brushed it away. Like when Whitney flung their wedding cake at him ( and god that girl has some strength- the cake felt like a ton of bricks than a cake ).

Callum didn’t respond for a short moment, he instead walked to the half full suitcase and started to carry on packing.
“ I’ve got a honeymoon still, unfortunately. “

“ ain’t it refundable? “

“ no. “ Callum folded his t-shirt before placing it into its new home.

Ben chuckled knowing what Callum has told him. He can see straight through Callum, very transparent. “ Can’t believe you made a ‘oliday and didn’t check if you could get your money back. “ he said, with a bit of judgmental in his words.

Callum sighed heavily, knowing Ben is right. He zipped up his suitcase and his other bag before standing up fully and placing his hands on his hips.

“ yes I know I’ve been a bit stupid -“

“ -understatement of the year- “

Callum shot him a pointed look.
“ but I get a holiday out of this mayhem so you lose some, you gain some. “ he hollowly stated.

“ A holiday that probably costed loads and going by yourself, drinking your body weight in alcohol? Yeh, sounds perfect mate. “

“ I ain’t going by myself. “ Callum informed him. “ I’m taking Chris. “

Ben’s face shifted, he felt his insides churning at another man’s name coming out of Callum’s mouth. It should be him.

“ Chris? The Chris from the army that you apparently loved? “ he wants to be sick, he can’t let Callum go on holiday with a man that he loves ( or loved ).

Callum nodded his head, he started walking to the kitchen to go into the fridge and got out a beer to calm his nerves.

“ yeh. “ before taking a swig.

“ Why didn’t you not ask me? “ Ben replied, before he even thought about it. If there was a hint of hurt in there - he could easily deny it.

Callum frowned at him. “ You have a daughter Ben, you can’t just fuck off into the sunset for 3 weeks without any notice. “

Ben winced at Callum blunt, cold words. It is true, he has a responsibility to look after another human, he can’t just leave his child in the lurch or Lola.

“ 3 weeks with Chris? “ A bite to his words, the jealously swirling around his head and body.

Callum frowned at him again, he gently put down his beer can and folded his arms over his chest. Ben hated to admit it to himself but, when Callum stood tall it was intimidating and made Ben feel 2 inches tall. When Callum looked angry or pissed off.

“ yes, Ben. Why? Are you jealous? Didn’t you tell me I wasn’t allowed to be jealous when you kept bringing different types of blokes into the Vic? Or when I admitted I loved you and you said - and I quote - why would I want to get involved with a head case like you? “ Callum listed off all Ben’s failures with a stone cold tone, his eyes showing nothing but hatred but sadness too. Ben hates Callum looking at him like that, he doesn’t care if it’s anyone else, but Callum? It matters, more than he’ll ever admit.

“ ...Cal...”

Callum laughed, a cold laugh that made Ben shiver. “ Callum I was drunk, Callum I still love you - what I said wasn’t true. “ Callum mimicked Ben’s words.
“ i know what you’re gonna say Ben, yeh you was drunk, but it still hurt. I know I ain’t no angel either but it just shows we could never be in a relationship. “

Ben bit down on his cheek, keeping himself from breaking down.

“ I will always love you, I will miss you, but what have had - what we could have is toxic. We ain’t a good match. “

Ben charge forward placing his palm against Callum’s jumper and his other hand cupping Callum’s jaw. Ben blinked away the tears, trying to keep himself strong.

“ we - we are a good match Callum, just - just give us a chance. “ Ben pleaded.

Callum softly shook his head.
“ We’re too broken, I’m too broken. Even if I do want us back together, to really give us a go. I’m broken, I don’t even know if I do want to jump into a relationship. “

“ you’re not broken. “ Ben whispered, firmly. Mitchell stared deep into Callum’s blue eyes not breaking the connection.

Callum give him a sad smile.
“ I am Ben, like it or not - I’m unfixable. “

“ We can get you help then - you can go away and clear your ‘ead. Please don’t write us off before even giving it a try. “

Callum didn’t respond, but Ben could tell he was thinking.
“ Did you see everyone’s faces? All of them judging and sneering at me? I even ‘eard Mo say why did I pick a troublesome Mitchell. “

“ It ain’t any of her business. “

Callum sighed heavily, he calmly rubbed Ben’s wrist with a thumb subconsciously. “ I don’t want to be more hated Ben. I didn’t want to hurt anyone, but I’ve managed to hurt three people already. All I’m worth is trouble, I ain’t worth the hassle. “

Every time Callum repeats that last sentence what Ben once said, he wants to punch himself in the face. He hates how Callum really thinks that, that Ben planted that seed of insecurity into his lovers head.

“ how many times do I have to tell you, your wrong? You are worth the hassle. I will wait for you Cal, I’ve already been waiting haven’t I? “

“ you shouldn’t be waiting Ben. You should be meeting whoever you like without pausing your life. “

“ But I want you Callum! “ Ben shouted in frustration, stepping away from Callum now. “ Why can’t you understand that? I love you! You bloody airhead! “ he yelled, irritated at Callum because he ain’t getting how much Ben is in love with him. Callum felt the tug at his lips, forming a small smile. “ I love that you are kind, generous, a right idiot at times, I love that you bring a smile to my face when I’m murderous, I love you! I don’t care if you are a bit stupid sometimes, I don’t care if you aren’t like my other hookups. You are like Paul, I feel like I’ve been given a second chance. When I first met ya I knew there was something ‘bout ya, I was first attracted to you. Why can’t you just listen to me? Why can’t you understand that I love you, I’ve always had feelings for you. “ Ben’s voice lowered down, now panting slightly but he isn’t finished yet. If Callum has to be told how much Ben loves him, he is going to bloody tell him. “ Even Lexi adores you! She loves the times when you and her watch Disney movies, or playing dress up - she loves that you read to her. I love watching the two people I love bond even more, it’s made me fall deeper in love with ya. “

“ Who knew Ben Mitchell would be so passionate? “ Callum grinned lovingly, his eyes glistening with unshed tears. He pushed himself off the counter and slid his hands around Ben’s waist, their bodies touching before separating at the upper chest. “ I knew you had feeling but - I never knew they would be that strong for me. “ he told him honestly, overwhelmed.

“ I’m not exactly good at words I’m I? Only the sarcastic ones but feelings? Not my strongest point. “ Ben replied, half shrugging with a glint in his eye.

Callum chuckled. “ you were good at expressing feelings a few weeks ago remember? “ he grinned teasingly, pushing his crotch into Ben’s.

“ hmmm - very good at showing how grateful I am for that. “ Ben smirked, loving their little sex life banter. Callum opened mouthed kissed Ben, their tongue sliding together before pulling away and resting their foreheads together.

“ I don’t want to leave you here. “ Callum whispered.

“ I don’t want you to go either, but this holiday- it’ll be good for you. To clear your ‘ead - to relax. “ with that Chris prick, went unmentioned.

“ I’m sorry for before - I shouldn’t have been so nasty. “

“ It’s fine Cal, you’re quite the hottie when your railed up anyway. “

Callum chuckled. “ Shut up. “

“ I’ll be waiting for ya Cal. “ Ben confidently told him, now looking deep into those puppy eyes. “ You’re all I want, I know I don’t always show it and I know I go out drinking and sleeping around. But you are what I want, what I need. “

“ I’ll try to be the best bloke for you, you deserve someone who is confident and proud to be who they are -“

“ I just want you to be confident in being gay Cal, I’m not asking ya to change your personality you muppet. “

Callum laughed. “ I do love you Ben. I’ve always been yours, even when I was with Whit. “

“ Good, I know I’m the better shag you’ll ever have. “

“ vein. “

“ Vanilla. “

“ Strawberry. “

“ Strawberry?! “ Ben repeated confusion lacing his face.

“ Yeh. You’re sweet and sour and big and strong. “

“ pfft wow. “ Ben scoffed again.
“ that makes you a banana then. “

“ why’s that? “ Callum tilted his head, playfully.

“ Because you’re long and tall and hard. For me. “

Ben smiled even more when Callum laughed harder.
Before he looked at his watch and huffed out a long sigh.

“ I need to leave, the planes at 6. “

And then they were hit with reality. Ben looked down again, sad that he has to say goodbye.

“ I wish you and lex were coming. “ Callum admitted. Even when he just told the whole square he’s cheated.

“ me too. But we have loads of time to plan a holiday don’t we? “ Ben grinned, before it slowly left his face. “ if you want that. “

“ Yeh I do. Just need to sort out my head don’t I? “ Callum confessed sadly. He reached for his flat keys handing them to Ben. “ you can have these when you get all moppy when missing me, or when you get murderous again. “

“ yeh I’ll be able to sniff your clothes now won’t I? Remembering you -“

“ Aww Ben! “ Callum heaved.

“ What it’s true?! I could even sleep in your bed pretending I’m sleeping next to you ! “ Ben explained, basically telling the truth. Callum’s face softened.

“ Aw you’re such a softie, you wouldn’t thought of that with your act of cockiness. “ Callum joked cheekily.

Ben playfully pushed Callum into the counter, leaning against him fully, whilst he softly sucked and kissed Callum’s neck.
“ if you carry on with any of that lip you ain’t getting any at all, when you come back! “

“ Mm’no don’t think so, I know you can’t resist me. “

“ well it’s good that I’m very fond of you then isn’t it? “ Ben murmured, placing another multiple of kisses to Callum’s neck.

Callum moaned, running his hands under Ben’s blazer and then into his briefs taking a genius handful of Ben’s bum.

“ I need to go Ben. I’m gonna be late. “ Callum half moaned, half whined.

A strangling noise came from Ben’s throat, that sounded like a whine of stubbornness, desperate for sex and disappointment.

“ I love you Cal, even if you don’t pick me - I’ll always be there for you. “ Ben looked at Callum again, his voice firm with seriousness. But there was something strange in his voice, like he didn’t sound like Ben for a minute.

Callum nodded his head, his heart feels heavy that he is leaving. He’s only going for 3 weeks but - it seems forever.

“ I’m gonna miss ya. “

They stared longingly again before laughing at the now awkwardness.

“ I’ll best popping off then. “

Ben swayed his body to the side scrunching his face up. “ do you really have to say that?! We’re on top of dead people! “

Callum laughed, whilst getting his belongings. “ But Ben you love going on top! “

“ prefer them alive thanks, and their name starting with a certain C. “

“ what? Conner? “ Callum played dumb.

“ such an airhead. “

“ hmm. “ Callum walked to the front door with his bag resting on the back of his back, his hand holding onto the straps as his other holding the slightly heavy suitcase. “ When I come back, you better not be in prison or in some major dodgy shit Ben. “

“ I try my best love. “

Callum chuckled at Ben’s fake soft posh tone. “ See ya. “

“ see ya. “ Ben said quietly, and heard the door shut quietly. He stood there in the silence no longer in Callum’s presence.
He walked to the kitchen to get himself a beer when the door opened again. Callum rushing in, Ben frowned.

“ forgot my phone. “

“ idiot! “ Ben called out and all he heard was a distant laugh.

He really is going miss Callum.

-/-

After cleaning Callum’s flat ( he missed him already and it’d only been 3 hours. He felt closer to Callum some how - it made him feel calmer too ). He unlocked his phone to read Callum’s latest message.

Cal - Morocco here we come!!!

Ben smiled to himself, he could actually hear Callum saying that in his head. What a cutie.

Ben - Have a safe flight Cal. You better be drinking for me too!

Ben didn’t get any more texts since his last reply, guessing Callum quickly typed it out and then had to put his phone on plane mode.

He locked Callum’s flat and walked back home, ready to see his daughter and try to act cheerful.

Ben sat next to his daughter and stroked her head as she watched Cinderella. “ How was school today princess? “

“ m’good. “ She replied, whilst chewing onto her apple, not really listening to what her daddy is saying.

“ Oh Yeh just good? “

Lexi nodded her head, eyes still glued to the tv. “ Yeh boring. Molly and Daisy were being naughty so they had to stand in the naughty corner for 10 minutes. “

“ what did they do? “

“ stole conners book and then he was upset because molly had it first but then Conner stole it off him. So molly and Conner were arguing and then Conner got into a strop and then molly started crying because of daisy saying they are being dramatic.”

“ so a eventful day at school then. “

Lexi hummed. Ben got up from the sofa, giving his daughters hair a ruffle before helping his mum with the plates.

“ Have you heard? “ Kathy told her son, her back turned from him as she washed the dishes.

“ heard what? “ Ben was tiny bit hesitant, but played it off.

“ Callum has left, still gone on that honeymoon. “ Kathy explained. “ poor girl, left heartbroken at the alter. I never knew Callum would be so nasty -“ the bitterness lacing her voice, as Ben tried to keep his cool. “ - I mean why is it so hard for him to admit he was gay? “

“ it was the same with me mum isn’t it? “ Ben flung down the kitchen towel on the counter, no longer able enough to hold the anger in. “ I struggled with my sexuality because I didn’t want to disappoint dad, it wrecked me too! And Callum is no different, he has two homophobes as relatives! “

Kathy stopped wiping the dirty plate to look at her son, her face full of guilt. “ I didn’t know, I knew Stuart can be bit of a -“

“ -prick-“ Ben helped her to choose the wording and he has plenty of words to help her to describe Stuart Highway.

She sighed and looked guilty.
“ But I thought Stuart would somehow understand? “

Ben laughed at her stupidity.
“ Stuart? Understand? He beat me up at pride mum -“

“ you never told me that! “ Kathy interjected

“ I didn’t want to upset you mum. But Stuart is a right nasty person, he wouldn’t ever support cal over his sexuality. Anything but straight, even if he did I wouldn’t trust him one bit. “

“ Oh what a poor lad. “ Kathy sighed sad. “ He must be so upset. “

Ben hummed. “ That’s why he’s gone away, mum. He needs to clear his head out. “

Kathy paused, frowning at him. “ wait, you know? “

Ben stilled, he let it slip. “ yeh - I’m his mate aren’t I? “ he covered.

“ well he needs friends at this time doesn’t he? “

Yeh just has to be Chris with him.

-/-

Callum took a long gulp of his beer as he stared out at the blue sea in front of him. The scorching sun beaming down on him, as he lay on the sun bed.

This is relaxing to the maximum. Where the sun can make him feel warm, for his skin to absorb the vitamin D, for him to let his mind wonder. He has been in Morocco for 2 days already, since then he has been drinking and laying at the beach. Chris has helped him a lot, letting him vent out his emotions and feelings. He helped Callum when he drank away his problems and nearly suffocated himself in his sleep - Chris has helped him.

“ So we gonna talk about Ben or just gonna carry on ignoring it? “ Chris’s presence suddenly appears beside Callum, who deflates slightly.

“ I love Ben, I hate how I’ve caused him hassle but he loves me back, more than I thought. “ Callum explained, not looking up from the half empty beer glass.
Chris nodded, listening. “ When he was around me I felt like I could battle the world, I felt so happy and safe. With Whit, I was lonely, I felt nothing -just empty. “

“ why’s that? “ Chris pushed on.

“ thinking now, I didn’t love her, well wasn’t in love, i liked her. But -“ Callum groaned in frustration, incapable of forming the words to sentences to making sense of his feelings. “ With Ben, we can laugh, we can change from topic to topic, our relationship is just passionate, intense, pure love, the sex is good. “ he chuckled at the end. “ with Whit -“ he sighed. “ It’s nothing. We can talk, the sex is alright - normal to standard. It’s just nothing more, it’s not passionate -“

“ you’re basically calling her dull and boring. “ Chris told him bluntly.

“ She ain’t - but for me yeh. Ben is amazing, yeh he can be cocky, sarcastic and a right pain in the arse but I love him for it. “ A smile spreads to his face. “ he’s got all these different layers to him, like when you’ve discovered a cake and at first you think oh this is nice, then you dig in more and it has a triple chocolate in it and it surprised you because you wasn’t expecting to find something new about it. So every dig you make in this cake is like Ben, loads of layers. With Whit, she’s just a cake with no flavouring. Just a cake. “

“ Hope you didn’t say that to her face mate. “

“ No of course not. “ Callum shook his head. “ I just told her the truth, at the Vic cos I texted her. I said that I’m gay and I’m in love with someone else. “

“ What did she do then? “

“ throw the wedding cake at me. “

Chris laughed loudly. “ why didn’t you not go to the flat though? “

Callum sighed. “ I did, Bianca and tiff wouldn’t let me see her so I told her to come to the Vic. “

“ was she okay in the end? “

Callum shrugged. “ She was hurt, she has a right to be, but yeh. She was bitterly happy that I could be myself now - after ruining her life. “

“ she said that? “

“ not in those exact words, but I knew she thought it. “ Callum nodded. “ all I need is to clear my head, to have a good time and just be comfortable in my own skin. “

“ but do you really want to jump straight into another relationship? With a man no doubt, you haven’t even investigated into your sexuality, you’ve only ever had me and Ben. Two blokes and a girlfriend. “

Callum rubbed his face with his hands. “ Ohh I don’t know what to do! “

Chris reached over and rubbed Callum’s shoulder in pity. “ What did you tell Ben when you left?”

“ that I’ll miss him, I do love him but I’m unfixable and broken. Ben said he’ll always support me if I don’t pick him, he’ll always be my mate. I’ve made such a mess out of everything and hurt everyone, fucked up my mental health, I don’t have a clue what to do. If I be with Ben I’ll be happy you know? But i also want do go out and have flings to build my confidence, to make me feel more proud of being gay. “

“ I don’t know what to say mate. “ Chris sighed, he doesn’t have a clue on how to help his mate with his dilemma.

“ thanks Chris, thanks for your bloody help! “

“ your welcome, mate. “

-/-

Jay shoot his brother eyes for the millionth time since this late evening. “ Have you got an admire or something? “ jay pointedly said, his eyes narrowing when Ben looked up from his phone with the smile still present on his face.

“ what? “

“ have you got an admire? “

“...no..”

“ Yeh you have! “ Jay playfully smacked Ben’s arm. “ come on who is it? “

Ben just desperately wants to tell him, to tell him it’s Callum but he can’t break his trust.
“ Never you mind. “ he grumbled.

“ it’s someone I know isn’t it? “ Jay explained, with bit of a exaggeration. “ is it Billy? “ he joked.

Ben’s face scrunched up disgusted. “ Not in a thousand years mate. “

“ but it is someone I know isn’t it? “

Ben sighed, leaning his head on the leather back of the seat in the E20. “ Yeh. “

“ is it Callum? “

Ben’s eyes shot open fucking amazed that jay guessed so correctly.

“ How long for? Your the bloke he’s in love with isn’t he?! “

Ben genuinely doesn’t have the ability to speak. How does jay know all this?

“ oh come on! You think I’m thick? “ jay shook his head in disbelief. “ I knew something was between you both for ages, your little looks and smirks. One of u’s rushing off then 3 minutes later the other follows, 20 minutes later you’re both flushed and glowed with messy hair. “ he listed off.

Ben shrugged, making a gesture with his hands and half opened his mouth. “ mate I don’t know what you want me to say. “

“ the truth! “

“ yeh your right. “

“ and!? “

“ me and cal are shagging and deeply in love. “

Jay huffed annoyed. “ Be serious. “

“ what I am! “ Ben defended and was offended that his brother didn’t believe him.
“ We kissed at pride, well more than a kiss on the table -“

“ - Fast motion along -“

“ - and we’ve had our bumps in the road, but we’ve gotten closer. Cal was still in denial, till he blown it off, telling Whit, and went on the honeymoon with his mate Chris. “ Ben explained all bluntly, without any heat in the words.

“ Chris? Who’s that? “

“ an army mate. “ Ben didn’t want to add more information on that.

“ Is Callum officially gay then? “

Ben nodded. “ Yeh, but he’s still struggling. He told me he’s unfixable and broken, he wants to be with me but he doesn’t want to jump into an relationship just yet. “

Jay hummed. “ Yeh, too early it is. He needs to discover his inner gay. “

Ben sighed, ignoring jays comment. “ I want to be with him. But I’m gonna wait, I’m gonna support him even if he ain’t ready to be in a relationship. “

“ proud of you brov, so being so mature. You really care for him don’t you? “ Jay can see the affection in Ben’s eyes. He nodded his head.

“ I love him jay, but you can’t tell anyone okay? I can’t break his trust. “

“ I won’t. “

“ I’m gonna be always be there for him, show him I care and I’ll get him to come back to me. “ Ben determination lacing his words. He will win Callum around.

-/-

Late at night, Ben lay awake not tired. Callum has been gone for 2 weeks and 6 days now, he is missing him tremendously. Callum has been sending him loads of photos and videos, of him and some of Chris. Ben has saved all of them, whenever he has time ( there’s always time when it comes to Callum ), Ben gazes at Callum’s face.

He has a beautiful bronze tan, his hair has highlighted to a capital T - he looks like a model. Ben hasn’t ever been so attracted to man where he was supporting a hard on through out the day. He can’t wait for Callum to come home.

/-/

Callum dropped to the sofa in exhaustion after the long flight. The door was open anyway, he really couldn’t be bothered making himself known. He knew Ben was in the shower because he was singling loudly, Callum loved it. When Ben was carefree when he thinks no one is here.

Callum hears the shower being turned off, he waits patiently for Ben. Only - Ben walks into the living room and doesn’t notice Callum at all. Instead, Callum has time to take in the beauty of Ben Mitchell, the slightly toned body, his gorgeous bum in the damp towel with water droplets running down his body.

“ hiya. “ Callum says, Ben doesn’t turn around. Callum says it again and it dawns on him.

Ben doesn’t have his hearing aids in. Shit. Fuck. You stupid Halfway prick.

Callum doesn’t sneak up to Ben, but he is so bloody awkward and hesitant that he places his hand on Ben’s shoulder and winces. When Ben gasps loudly and jumps like a cat. He spins around with his hand clutching his chest struggling to bloody breathe.

And what does Callum do?

Waves awkwardly. He waves at Ben like he didn’t just cause him to have a mini heart attack.

He deserves the slap across the face.

Ben rushes out the living room to get his hearing aids before coming back out again angry.

“ What the fuck are you playing at! “

“ I wanted to surprise you! “ Callum defended, guilty and now embarrassed.

“ Well you did good job at that! “

“ sorry. “

“ yeh you should be sorry! I thought I had a heart attack! You know how scared I was for a minute?! Deaf and all I felt was a hand on me! “ Ben’s voice wavered, still in complete shock.

“ I didn’t mean to scare you! I wanted to surprise you I didn’t know you’ll take them out! “

Ben sighed, can’t be bothered with the fight anymore. Is it even a fight? “ you could’ve told me you’re coming home. “

Callum frowned. “ I did? “

Ben’s face was a copy of Callum’s. He got his phone and sighed heavily, seeing the messages.

“ See. “

“ yeh alright Sherlock. “

“ You not happy to see me? “ Callum asked, hint of sadness present.

“ of course I am you muppet. Look at ya! You look like a right model. “

Callum flushed pink. “ you don’t look so bad yourself. “ he smirked, with his eyes trailing up and down Ben’s still wet body.

“ have you decided then? “ Ben asked the million pound question.

Callum nodded his head.
“ yeh I’m - I’m not ready to jump into another relationship-“ he saw the smile slide off Ben’s face, the way his eyes lose their twinkle. “ - it’s not that I don’t want you ! I do, but it’s too soon - everyone will think I’m more of a prick if I keep someone’s bed warm. “

Ben sighed. “ you ain’t getting someone’s bed warm, you’re keeping my cock warm when it’s lonely for some Callum Highway action. “

“ fucks sake. “ Callum laughed at Ben’s response.

He smirked before looking serious. “ so what you gonna do then? “

“ I’m gonna be proud of me sexuality, embrace it, i need mates around me. I want to build my confidence more, you know what I mean? “

“ yeh, yeh i do. I’m proud of ya cal. Honestly. “ Ben walked up to Callum and hugged him, tighter than necessary. Before pulling away to go back into the bedroom to get changed. And if he let himself cry softly - nobody has to know.

-/-

Jay, Ben and Callum are sitting in the Vic having a round of pints, enjoying each other’s company and the banter of what Callum did in Morocco. Till, Stuart came along - face full of anger.

“ oi, You ain’t allowed in ‘ere! “ Mick shouted across from the bar.

Stuart ignored mick and instead starring down at his little brother who looked like he was about to bolt. From the stone cold stare.

“ You’re a puff? “ Stuart hissed out the word, disgusted.

“ don’t say that -“ Jay piped up, his eyes flooding with disgust.

“ I’m gay yeh. “ Callum responded, intimately.
Ben could feel Callum become smaller, under his brother’s gaze.

“ he’s -“ Stuart pointed to Ben. “ he’s changed ya hasn’t he? Why did you go leave Whitney for? She’s perfect. “

“ Stu I’m gay, I did love her but wasn’t in love -“

Stuart shook his head in denial.
“ I can’t believe I’m little brother has gone down the road with fairies. “

“ that’s it -“ Ben roughly pushed past Callum and lunched himself onto Stuart, punching him one. Nobody bullies Callum and gets away with it.
Mick ran towards them pulling Ben off who was struggling the landlord off.

“ You ever say anything to him again it’ll be more than a punch! “

Stuart laughed nastily. “ What? You gonna give me a peck on a cheek? “

Ben went for him again to only have Callum now hold him back.

“ Fuck off stu, I don’t want you here. You ain’t no brother to me, as I’m concerned your dead. “ Callum gritted his teeth, his grip on Ben tightening with anger.

Stuart’s face fell, like he’d realised what he just done. “..cal..”

“ no fuck off. You ain’t wanted here, go back to dad where you belong. “

Stuart silently walked out of the pub, head hung low as Callum watched him leave. He couldn’t believe Stuart would act like that with him, he thought his big brother cared about him. Obviously not.

Ben turned to Callum, protective of him. “ Are you okay? “

Callum nodded, his eyes downcast. “ yeh fine. “

“ Well that Stuart hasn’t ever been different son, “ Mick told him, trying to assure him. “ You’ll be glad he’s gone, waste of space he is. “

Callum didn’t say anything to micks comment. “ I’m just gonna head back home. “

“ No come on - don’t let ‘him wreck your evening. “ Ben told him softly.

“ Err no it’s fine, feel like a early night anyway. “ He forced a smile, feeling everyone’s eyes on him. He left, heading home.

“ I hate Stuart, right bastard he is. “ Ben growled, shooting back his whiskey.

“ yeh Halfway don’t need him. “ Mick turned his nose up, his hated for Stuart only increasing. He went back to the bar to serve a punter.

-/-

Callum - How do you pick up a bloke?

Ben wasn’t expecting this random text from him. Even worse - Callum is finding someone and he can’t let that happen, but what he needs to remind himself is he needs to play along.

Ben - You need to talk.

Callum - Yeh? And?

Ben - Be yourself Cal. Where u? E20?

Callum - Yes

Ben has never got ready so quickly. He spotted him the moment he stepped into the building. Callum looked perfect, he made a real effect to look nice and his hair wasn’t gelled.

Ben swaggered towards him, acting casual. “ So you need help picking up a bloke? “

Callum sighed. “ I’m pathetic. “

“ no you ain’t. “

“ yeh I am, I’m trying to build my confidence, trying to see who I am and I can’t even speak to a bloke. “

“ Well Cal - you’re gonna be anxious aren’t ya? You’ve spent the past 27years in the closet. “

“ why do you have to be so blunt? “

“ one of my charms. “

“ Smug git. “ Callum grinned.

Ben’s eyes went from Callum to this bloke walking closer to them. “ Well, well, well who do we have here? “ A stranger came up beside Callum, leaning against the bar. Ben felt himself tense up.

“ hi. “ Callum smiled, not knowing how to proceed forward.

“ Do you want to sit with me over there? Alone. “ The man pointedly said at Ben, his eyes darkening.

Callum looked at Ben as if he needs permission. Ben forced his head to nod and forced a painful smile. Callum stood up and left, before saying bye to Ben.

It’s been an hour now since Callum has left him, Ben was been watching them whilst sipping on his 3rd beer. Every time the man stroked Callum’s thigh he saw Callum tense up, he knew he wasn’t feeling it and was uncomfortable. But if he goes up to them both he doesn’t want to cause any hassle for Callum.

So he carries on shooting the stranger( who dares to talk to Callum )devils.

The man leans in to kiss Callum on the lips, unexpectedly. Callum pushes him away with all his force but the alcohol is weakening his brain function, the man is too strong for him. The panic sets in, he isn’t budging, he’s forcing himself on Callum and he can’t get away. Till he feels the heaviness fade away.

Ben’s there pulling away the man, looking like he is about to murder him. “ You better fuck off now when you can still walk! “

The man scoffs, shaking his head whilst muttering something and leaves. Ben looks back at Callum who’s stunned still, the shorter man rubs his lovers shoulder bringing back to Earth with calmness.

“ you okay? He didn’t do anything else? “

Callum shook his head. “ no he didn’t. “ he feels the electricity go through him when he feels Ben with him, feels it when Ben is touching him. Ben is the one he wants - needs. He doesn’t want to be mates with Ben, he wants to be with him.

“ Callum? “ The uncertainty in Ben’s voice is visible. Callum only realises he has been too stuck in his head.

“ can - can we go back to mine? I need to talk about us. “

Callum hands over a beer can for Ben when they are back at his flat. Ben was apprehensive about what Callum is about to tell him, as it much be serious because Callum isn’t his usual awkward self.

Callum sat down opposite Ben and took a deep breath before speaking. “ what I said when I returned wasn’t completely correct.” He stopped talking for moment. “ I do want to be confident in my sexuality, I do want to embrace it but not with finding different blokes or whatever. That ain’t me - it’s just, what Chris said, and yeh I let people’s opinions get in my head again. “ he bitterly laughed, he took Ben’s hand into his own both of their hearts beating rapidly. “ what I’m tryna say is - you are what I want. I know I’ve messed you around, I thought looking for men in different nightclubs would make me a proper gay? To embrace it. When really - I just want you Ben Mitchell. You are stuck in my head and heart, I was stupid to say I wanted us to be mates or to go out tonight. “

“ So you want us together? “

“ if you’ll have me? “

“ I’ll always have you. But what if you change your mind again? “

“ i won’t -“

“ how do you know though?”

“ because I love you. I thought us being mates would be easier, but I miss you too much. I want us to give it a go, I know we could be a good team if we’re together -“

“ we ain’t in a football team Cal. “ Ben sassily said.

“ no I know that -“

Ben sighed, taking pity on him.
“ cal, I know what you’re trying to say. I want us to be together, I want us to be boyfriends but only if you want to be. “

Callum nodded, feelings of excitement consuming him.
“ I do! I do, the moments when we’re alone I love it, or the moments with Lexi, I want that - I want that officially without any hiding or being secretive. “

“ me too. “ Ben whispered, nearly choking up now.

“ Soo.. that makes you my boyfriend? “

“ I guess so Highway. “ Ben grinned, leaning in to kiss his boyfriend. They kissed for a while before hugging, contently.

“ You should start doing the dishes then. “ he grins cheekily.

“ Rethinking on the boyfriend thing now. “ Ben jokily said.

“ I can owe you back later can’t u? “ Callum trailed his finger up to Ben’s crotch and started to rub the forming semi.

“ You better. “ He grins, before sliding onto Callum’s lap and straddling his thighs. He presses kisses to Callum’s neck and face. “ Or we can go to bed and show me your beautiful body? “

“ what would you like me to show ya? “ he whispers inches apart from Ben’s lips.

Ben runs his fingers through the light brunette locks whilst the other hand lays on Callum’s chest. “ your gorgeous body. “ Ben comments, kissing Callum sloppily as he takes off his boyfriends top and pressed multiple of kisses on Callum’s chest and stomach. “ I want to see your perfect cock and I want to trail my tongue all along your beautiful freckles. “

“ ...Ben...” he moans loudly.

“ I love when you moan my name baby. “

“ I love you. “ Highway grips his grip on Ben’s hair slightly pulling.

“ I want you on a bed not here. “ He orders, pulling Callum up and walking them both to their bedroom. He softly pushes Callum into the bed with a smirk, taking off his own clothes and then Callum’s trousers.

“ we’ve got a lot of catching up to do. “ Ben crawls up Callum’s body pressing kisses and kisses up to Callum’s face.

-/-

Ben rests his head on Callum’s flushed chest both men still panting from their intense activities. “ You’ve been practising haven’t ya? “ Ben comments impressed.

“ Hmm well l needed to show my boyfriend what he’s been missin’ haven’t I? “ Callum smirks, pressing a kiss to Ben’s head.

“ Well I’m impressed. “

“ Ben your saying it like I’ve just completed a course. “

“ well - if it was a Physical Course. You’ll pass. “

Callum chokes out a laugh.
“ I’ve missed this. “

“ and I’ve missed you. “ Ben says sincerely. He lifts himself up and lays completely on Callum again. “ but right now - I want more of you. “ he bites Callum’s bottom lip, teasing him when he gets the lip between his teeth.

“ So fucking perfect. “ Callum moans out when Ben rocks his hips against Callum’s causing friction.

“ I know baby, but your more perfect than anything I’ve seen before. “

“ Funny that. “ Callum comments, feeling Ben carry on sucking his neck. “ one of the bar blokes said that to me when I was away. “

“ Hmm really? “ Ben cocks an eyebrow. “ Well I need to show you how perfect and flexible you are then don’t I? “

“ You said that once and I clicked my hip that bad I couldn’t move. “

“ and I kissed it better! “ Ben protests. “ and your very swollen cock didn’t I? “

Callum tilts his head, his eyes dark with want and need. “ You made it very better. “

“ I am going to fucking blow your brains out till you can’t even speak. “ Ben commanded, dominantly.

And that’s enough to make them both cum within minutes.

Chapter Text

Callum needed to know who is Callum Highway. What did he like, dislike, what tribes is he into, what type of men is he into.

For the best part of 27 years Callum has kept his sexuality hidden, buried it deep in his soul before it came back to the surface. When one Ben Mitchell came along and marked him.

Which is why Callum is in a bar, oh no, not any bar but a gay bar. Callum found one away from Walford. He needed to find new blood, new flesh to feel and taste and even take home for a night. Okay, maybe he is pushing his own limits maybe, Callum wonders as he takes a sip of his beer. But, how will he ever know what his sexuality holds if he doesn’t do some discovering?

Callum hasn’t spoken to anyone yet. Which is a disappointment, but he is too shy, too socially awkward to speak. He wishes he had Ben’s confidence- no he needs to push Ben away.
Ben ended it between them - quite reputedly, he hurt Callum’s feelings, he made Callum’s safe place plummet down like it was nothing.

Like they were nothing.

As the night goes on, Callum gets more drunk, gets more confident but he strangely likes it. The buzzing feeling running through his veins, the anxiety leaving his body for a short while. His mouth preoccupied with another man’s tongue down his throat.

Callum grips the man’s hips tighter, ignoring Ben’s face in his mind, he pushes their bodies closer and closer till there is no gap between them.
Callum roughly runs and tugs this man’s strawberry blonde hair, as he snogs him - he considers that yeh this is good. He feels good, this is natural and he feels wanted.

“ Rough - harder -“

Callum freezes for a moment, the man sounding like Ben, when Callum opens his eyes he isn’t Ben. The dilated eyes starring back at him are a deep brown.

Callum hungrily kisses him again, needing Ben out of his system, needing to ‘replace’ Ben from his orbit ( if not his heart ).

“ Come back to mine. “

Callum finds himself saying, he knows what he is doing but isn’t thinking it through, all he knows is - he needs this man in his bed for his sexual urges.

And when Callum stumbles into the door laughing into the man’s chest - he forgets about Ben.
He doesn’t even notice Ben looking broken standing 30 steps away from his flat.

And when Callum is kissing this strangers body - he doesn’t remember anything else but this moment of heat.

-/-

Ben walked back to his home with his head hung low, he let the vulnerability wash over him. After seeing Callum, his lover, pulled - it is a punch to the stomach. Ben hates the man who is witnessing Callum sweaty flushes body, witnessing the sounds Callum makes when he is getting satisfied.

Ben didn’t want to end things between them. He resents Stuart even more for it, for threatening Callum and using his insecurities and a touchy topic. Paul.
Stuart got Ben cornered, Ben hates how he defeated but Stuart is that sick in the head, he threatened to do the same to Callum like how Paul died.
How could Ben ignore that? He knows how unpredictable Stuart is, Stuart even shot himself to blame someone else! Ben couldn’t let anything happen to Callum, even if Stuart is bluffing, Ben can’t be at Callum’s gravestone knowing it’ll be his fault.

He just wants Callum, he wants Callum to be his - he just wants Callum because he misses him.
-/-

The first sensation is pain. The headache in his head is like a hammer banging away at his skull. Callum groans as he digs his head further into the puffy pillow, he opens one eye, sees the room empty. Looks like his one time fling went away before he woke up. Thank god he ain’t an axe murderer.

With about half an hour of huffing and puffing Callum is up. He knows he looks dreadful, he knows he looks like he should belong in one of those coffins downstairs. With his baggy joggers and hoodie on, with his phone and essentials. He is out of the door, heading straight to the café.

Callum rests his forehead on the cool table, letting the coldness numb the pain in his head.
His mind wonders off, he swears he saw Ben last night, of him standing by one of the market stalls. But the memory feels so distant, like his brain is tricking him because he misses him so much.

Callum sighs again, the sex was good last night, standard. It wasn’t anything like him and Ben though- no, with them it is passionate, heated and so tense. Callum just needs to fill the void of loneliness in his heart.

“ You look rough. “

Callum looks up and immediately closes his eyes in annoyance. Ben. He’s relieved he’s there but - not in the mood for his snarky comments.

“ Come on loverboy, don’t look so caught up! “ Ben mocks, bites away the memories of Callum kissing another bloke. He doesn’t know which one is worse - Callum with Whitney or Callum activity looking for men.

“ what do you want? “ Callum’s words are muffled as his lips are nearly touching the table, the light too bright for his sensitive eyes.

Ben smirks, leans back and links his own fingers together and places them on the table. Nearly touching Callum’s messy out grown hair. God, he wants to run his fingers through Callum’s hair.

“ Wealth, happiness, a fit bloke - suppose you’ll do. “

“ I ain’t yours remember. You ended it. “ Callum says matter of factly, now sitting up straight and thanking the staff member for bringing his greasy breakfast.

A flash of regret comes through Ben’s face as soon as it goes.
He remains silent, for a moment before changing the topic.
“ Why are you so rough for? Ain’t like you to get bladdered. “
Ain’t like you to shag a random bloke - is what Ben also wanted to say.

Callum sighs, as he cuts the cooked tomato and puts some beans onto the fork. “ wanted to go out and have some fun. “ he says, unbothered.

Ben hums, tilts his head up slightly knowing Callum isn’t saying the whole truth. “ Didn’t meet anyone? “ he pushes, he doesn’t like being lied too.

Callum shifts, uncomfortably.
“ no. “

“ Why you lying for? “

“ I ain’t. “ Callum defends, but he’s losing a winning battle.

“ I saw you with some random last night outside yours. “

And Callum has the audacity to shrug like it ain’t no big deal.
“ yeh? What if I did? “

“ I don’t want you going out and meetin’ new men. “

Callum scoffs. “ you ain’t controlling me. You ended it, I’m single what do you expect me to do? Become a monk? “

Ben frowns. “ no. I just - what I did- I regret it. “

Callum takes another mouthful of food into his mouth. “ Really. “ he says, playing along like he isn’t affected by Ben’s words. But honestly- inside his heart there’s a celebration of love. But - the bitter side comes out, he can’t let himself fall back down there again because his walls around his heart have been broken.

He can’t let himself go down that spiral of sadness again.

Ben looked down avoiding Callum’s gaze, unable to look at the face of the man he still loves. “ Do you not love me anymore? “ he said quietly, if Callum wasn’t listening he wouldn’t of heard. Callum felt his face fell, he hates seeing Ben looking so vulnerable.

But he can’t lie to him.

“ I do. I still love you, don’t think I’ll ever stop. “

Ben slowly brought his head up in hope, his eyes glistening with relief. “ you mean that? “

Callum nodded his head.
“ yeh. But what we had - it doesn’t work. It’s too toxic. “

“ no it -“

“ no Ben listen, we were sneaking around behind Whits back and even then we were too intense with each other and I punched ya. Then, when Whitney leaves and I say I love ya for the first time and you say why would you want something like me? I’m too much of a hassle? You were only playing around? “ Callum listed off, the hurt visible in his voice.

“ I was blackmailed! “ Ben nearly shouted.

“ what? “ Callum pushed out confused.

He took a deep breath. “ I was blackmailed. “ he said quieter this time.

“ by who? “

“ Your bald headed freak of a relative. “

“ Stuart? “

“ Do you know any other bald headed freaks Callum? “

“ B-but why would he blackmail you? You’re Ben Mitchell- you don’t get blackmailed. “ Callum told him, still in denial and not exactly believing it.

Ben sighed heavily, bless Callum. “ He told me, if I dare go near ya or be in a relationship with ya he’ll get someone to end you just like how Paul died.” Ben confessed heavily.

Callum sat there stunned. Unable to respond because that is a sick thing to say, especially about your own brother.

“ and even if he was bluffing I couldn’t risk it Callum! I couldn’t - I wouldn’t sleep at night knowing our time would be limited and then I’ll get a phone call hearing your dead? That I’d had to stand over your gravestone? I wouldn’t handle it Cal, I wouldn’t-“

“ come here -“ Callum whispered, sitting next to Ben as he softly cried into Callum’s side.

Ben clutched Callum’s hoodie tighter, unable to let go now he’s in Callum’s embrace. “ and now knowing I’ve lost you for good, ‘cause I was too scared of you dyin’. “ his voice cracked, making Callum wince at how it sounded painful.

“ you haven’t lost me. “

Ben froze. “ What? “ He pulled away and properly looked at Callum with his red rimmed eyes.

“ you haven’t lost me. “ Callum repeated, stronger this time. He held Ben’s hands.

“ you - you mean that? You still love me and f-forgive me? “ Ben whimpered, in hope. Callum broke out into a soft dork smile.

“ I’ll always love you Ben Mitchell, what you said hurt, I should’ve known you didn’t mean that but - you made it sound so believable I thought you meant it. “ he explained. “ and I just - self destructed and needed to replace the pain. “

“ I didn’t, I swear Callum on Lexie’s life I didn’t mean any of it! “ Ben pleaded, needing him to know all those words he said were lies. Nasty blunt lies, that he was forced to say.

Callum nodded his head, rubbing Ben’s hand with his thumb comfortably. “ I believe you. “
Ben hugged the life out of Callum, thankful he hasn’t lost him.

“ I’m going to see Stuart though. “ Callum confessed, pulling away from Ben.

“ why? “

“ I want to know what he’s thinkin’. “

“ I’ll come with you then. “

“ it just needs to be me and ‘him. “

“ I don’t want him doing anything to ya. “ Ben whispered.

“ I’ll be fine. Promise. “ Callum assured him, pecking him unexpectedly on the lips.

“ that mean we back on? “ Ben hesitatingly asked.

“ only if you talk to me, even if you are blackmailed because I don’t want you saying any of that to me again. “

“ I won’t, I swear Cal, I never want to be away from you again. “

“ me too. “ Callum smiled, before turning his head and looking at his now cold breakfast. “ you owe me breakfast now. “

Ben grinned, leaning closer to Callum dropping his voice low.
“ I can return my sincere apologies in your bed.

“ best hurry up then. “ Callum flirted back, kissing Ben in the corner of the booth before holding hands and leaving.

/-/

Ben couldn’t be bothered rolling off Callum after their 3rd round of sex. Instead, they lay cuddled together in sweat and flushed. But they wouldn’t ever change it any other way.

“ Fucking hell - this is one of the things I’ve missed. “ Callum admitted, still panting slightly.

Ben chuckled lowly, smirking against Callum’s flushed chest.
“ Even better than your last nights fling? “

“ it doesn’t compare. “

Ben smugly smiled. “ good. “ he placed a kiss to Callum’s sweaty chest.

“ I do regret going out last night and shagging that bloke. I was just drunk - and wanted to forget everything. “ to forget you, went unmentioned.

“ It did hurt, not gonna lie. But we’re okay now, aren’t we? “ Ben waited for Callum to nod.
“ So there’s nothing to worry ‘bout, we need to look into the future. “

“ think you might need your specs for that. “

“ oi cheeky! “ Ben slapped Callum’s chest. Both men chuckled again, feeling so content and domestic.

“ ugh I’m starvin’ I am. You gonna make us a bacon sarnie? “

“ wasn’t I enough? “

“ Yeh course - still doesn’t mean I don’t fancy some salty pork. “

-/-

Callum knocked on his lowlifes brothers door again before it finally opened. Callum pushed past him and stared at him in anger.

“ why did you blackmail Ben for? “

“ He told ya then. “ Stuart scoffed, shaking his head and slumping into the leather sofa.

“ Ben is my boyfriend and you tell him that your gonna get someone to kill me like how Paul died? You know how fucked up that is! “ Callum shouted. “ I’m your brother! “

“ brov I’m not gonna apologies okay? Ben is a horrible bloke, I’m protecting ya. “

“ protecting me by saying to my boyfriend you’re gonna get me killed like his ex boyfriend? “ Callum bluntly said, hissing out the words like they brought a distaste to his mouth.

Stuart shrugged, sighing and nodding his head. “ Fine, maybe I went a bit too far -“

“ Too far?! You shouldn’t have said anything to him in the first place! “

“ you -“

“ I don’t care Stuart. You are dead to me. I hate ya, I fucking disown you. “ Callum seethed, pointing his finger into Stuart’s direction before storming off. He completely ignored Stuart’s calls and slammed the door shut.

Stuart Highway doesn’t even exist in Callum’s book.

-:-

After driving back to Walford Callum had calmed down. When he entered his flat and Ben and Lexi were there - he felt at home and everything else melted away.

“ Callum! “ Lexi rushed to him and hugged his waist. “ I’ve missed you! “

Callum laughed, stroking her head. “ I missed you too kiddo. “

Ben smiled, pecking Callum on the lips. “ Lex go sit on the tv, daddy’s sorting dinner out now. “ his daughter walked to the sofa and carried on walking Disney programmes.

“ Hope you don’t mind lex being here. “ Ben told him, nervous if he’s over stepped the mark.

“ no of course not. “ Callum said, wrapping his arms around the smaller man’s waist. “ You know I love her being here. “

Ben squeezed him tighter, rubbing his back. “ How did it go? “

“ Fine. “ He said heavily, pulling away from Ben to the kitchen platting up the food.

“ Just fine? Stuart doesn’t just do -“

“ He won’t be bothering us again. “

“ you haven’t done something have ya? “ Ben was a bit alarmed by Callum’s words and how he seemed calm - too calm.

“ what? No! I’ve had enough of him, as I’m concerned he’s dead. “

“ you don’t need him anyway Cal. He’s nothing but trouble. “

“ hmm. All I need is my little family. “ Callum confessed, giving his boyfriend a peck on the cheek as he brushed past him to give Lexi her food.

And Ben watched them both
fondly. How did he get so lucky?

Chapter Text

“ what sweetheart!?” Ben calls back to his daughter from downstairs at the Beales.

She comes running down the stairs with excitement radiating off her body. She comes to a stop just beside her dad who’s watching the TV.

“ I want you to be a princes!! “

He frowns at her. “ Eh? “

She tuts, annoyed at him for not understanding the simple logic.
“ I want you to be a princess! “

“ why darling? “

“ because I want to put makeup on you and dress you up like Cinderella! “

“ Who’s that again? “ Ben frowns, half regretful for not remembering one of the Disney Princesses.

“ Cinderella! Who sings with the flying tea cup and clock! “

“ ... oh... right I remember now..”

“ please Daddy! Please can I put makeup on your face! “

He sighs. He can never say no to his little girl. “ fine. “

Lexi smiles widely and runs back upstairs. Ben sighs and goes back to watching the TV before he has a flying Tara flung at him with a wig. He makes a noise from the items being launched into his face.

“ Lex no - not a wig. “ Ben shakes his head, yeh okay to the makeup but a wig?

Lex pouts. “ I thought you loved me? “

Ben gasps at her emotional blackmail. She really is his daughter isn’t she? He picks her up from the waist and placed her on his lap. He kisses her forehead softly.

“ Lex you know I love ya, sweetheart. “

“ then wear the wig! “ She shouts and plonks the blonde wig onto his head. He doesn’t say anything else knowing the discussion has closed.

It’s ten minutes of Lexi sorting out the makeup, she then gets the lipstick. A bright pink one.

Ben frowns at her. “ isn’t that mummies? “

“ ....no...”

Ben sighs heavily. “ Lex you know how she gets when we touch -“

“ daddy it’s fine! She won’t recognise ya because you’ll be Cinderella! “

He doesn’t say anything. Because he probably will be unrecognisable with the makeup Lexi is applying to his face.

20 minutes have passed and now he can finally stand up. Lexi gets him the makeup mirror and shows him her handiwork. She smiles at him with proud projecting out of her.

Fucking hell. Is what Ben wants to say. Lexi has put mascara on his eyelashes, the lipstick is half on his lips and mainly on the skin around his mouth. He even has some sort of blusher on his cheeks that makes it look like he’s a raving alcoholic.

“ Yeh Lex it’s - Err - lovely -“ he forces a smile.

“ You look like a proper princess now Daddy! “

“ yeh. “ he smirks. “ and your my little beautiful Queen aren’t cha? “ he picks her up and holds her. He placed her on his hip as she wraps her arms around his neck.

“ Are you proud dad? “

“ like you can’t believe. “ Ben grins, kisses her cheek which leaves a kiss mark on her cheek.

She gasps dramatically. “ we can take a picture of you! “

“ no no Lex -“ he reluctantly puts her down when she wiggles in his embrace. She runs to get his phone and swipes to the left to get the camera app.
He gets the phone and bends down to her, he tucks her into his side and take a selfie.

Ben takes multiple of photos, one with them making silly faces, a second one smiling and the last one with Ben pressing a kiss to lexis cheek as she seen giggles in the picture.

He loves his little girl.

Chapter Text

Ben collapsed his hand heavily on his thigh and place placed his head on Callum’s chest with a beaming cute smile on his face.

“ Sooo date night? “

“ yeh if you want. “ Callum answered, still watching the telly.

“ god don’t sound too excited there Cal, you might burst a brain vessel. “ Ben sarcastically stated out.

Callum’s attention went from the TV to his husband and smiled. He placed a kiss to Ben’s head and runs his fingers through his husbands hair.

“ I’ll be thrilled to go on a date with you Ben. “

“ Now it just sounds like your agreeing to go shopping! “

“ I won’t be going at all if you carry on! “

“ fine fine! “ Ben puts his hands up. “ I surrender. “ he fakes.

Callum hums, whilst making a cheeky scrunched up face and kisses his Ben fully on the lips.
“ love you. “

Ben laughs in his throat, more of a giggle and smiles against Callum’s lips. “ love you too babe. “

“ you want to hit the bedroom before we get ready? “ Callum cocks an eyebrow, runs his finger up and down Ben’s chest as he stares deeply into those beautiful expressive eyes.

“ All part of getting undressed isn’t it? “ Ben flirts, kissing Callum again before dragging him to their bedroom.

///

“ Two pints mick. “ Ben calls to the landlord, as they both enter the half empty pub.

“ ‘alright son? “ Mick says, as he gets the two pints ready for them both. Callum and Ben sit together at the bar, holding hands normally.

Callum sighs softly. “ Yeh fine mick, nothing much happening. “

“ married life dulling out then? “ Mick cheekily comments, placing Callum’s pint in front of him as he looks on faked shocked.

“ Ay we’ve only been married 5 years! “ Ben defends.

“ and you and Linda have been married for Donkey years! “ Callum also fires back.

“ We’ve been married for 7 years! “ Mick corrects him.

Ben tilts his head to the side, a smirk present. “ well - you’ve known Linda since yous were 14? “

Mick side eyes the both of them and sighs heavily giving up with the play domestic fight. “ alright, leave it to rest now ay. “

Ben’s and Callum’s knock together as they laugh and drink their pints. Not noticing Mick have a soft expression on his face, like he’s pleased for them.

“ what? “ Callum frowns, confused.

“ it’s just - I never ‘ave thought you two would be to’gether. “ Mick explains, pausing a moment as the two younger ones look more confused. “ Because Cal, no offence lad, was in the closet and after all the Whitney drama. It’s ‘lovely to see you, even now, happily married - being a dad to Lex and getting another 2 sprogs along the way. “ Callum and Ben share eye contact and they have a genuine smile on their face.

After 2 years of their marriage, Ben waned kids with Callum. He loves them, he always wanted a massive family. So, one day, he asked Callum and he did too. He wanted a house full of children and to be the dad he never had, who shown love, safety and kindness. Ben was the same too, he wanted to show Phil he’s happy, to say a fuck you, I’ve got a house, a family and married to a man.

Callum blushed, a nervous smile seeping into his face. “ Your support means a lot mick. “

Ben wraps his arm around Callum’s waist and his face reflects his husbands. “ it really does mick, ya know, how you ‘elped ‘im. “

Mick clears his throat, trying to get those dark memories of Callum scared and afraid on the edge of the quarry out of his mind.

“ I see you as my son, Callum. “ Mick answers. “ always ‘ave, always will, you too Ben. “ He nods to him, feeling himself getting awkward. “ Even when I want to bash ya ‘ead in cos your annoying. “

“ Oi that’s me husband your talking ‘bout! “ Callum fakes offended, pointing his finger in the carters direction. They all laugh along.

The moment is lost when The Vic doors slam open and two very drunk men stumble in laughing. Mick automatically looks uncomfortable and fed up, he just wanted a quiet night.
Callum and Ben turn too, sensing trouble brewing.

“ Nah come on lads, I ain’t serving ya. “ Mick orders firmly.

“ ‘what you m’goin’ on ‘bout? “ One bloke slurs at the bartender. He catches Callum looking at him and turns to him angrily. “ what are you starring at? “ he hisses coldly.

Callum jumps a bit, flustered.
“ N-nothing. “

He scoffs, looks at his mate who’s head and arms are sprawled on the bar and turns back to Callum again.

“ Yeh you were. “ The man still slurs, but suddenly sounds so much more sober. “ Tell me what you think. “ he steps forward, a dark mist covering his face. Ben stands up and stood beside his husband, one hand on his shoulder protecting him.

Mick still stands where he is looking at the drunken sod. “ He don’t want nowt to do with ya. “

The man clocks Ben’s wedding ring and Callum’s. How they are so close and touching. “ Ohh I’m with fuckin’ fairies! “ he says in outrage and disbelief.

Ben steps forward livid. “ what did you just say? “

The drunk man steps forward, stands tall and pronounced out the words slowly and clearly.
“ I’m with fucking fairies. “

Ben launches himself at the bloke punching him one. The 2nd man gets involved getting his mate back, whilst Callum drags Ben back from punching him. Mick around the bar only to have the first drunk man throw a chair at Ben.

“ I better not catch anything off ya! “

And this time, Callum doesn’t think and punches him. Nobody says that about his husband.
The whole fight is messy and massive and nobody has a upper hand till Mick ends it. He doesn’t know how but he has and he bans the two drunk people out. Callum and Ben left panting and covered in blood.

“ can’t believe he said that ‘bout ya. “ Callum rages. Ben sighs heavily.

“ he’s a lowlife just forget it. “
He’s just tired, all he wanted was a date with his husband.

“ But Ben-!”

“ Callum. “ Ben says firmly. “ He’s a prick who deserved the punches but we can’t let them rule our lives yeh? “

“ fine. “

Mick slaps his hands on Ben’s and Callum’s shoulders. “ Disgusting he is. You two Alright? “

“ yeh fine. “ Callum states out, a harshness to his voice.

Ben sighs, closing his eyes for a minute before tugging his husband into his side. “ Cal you know those losers are scum, no point letting them -“

“ I know, it’s just - frustrates me. “

“ Well put that frustration into something else. “ Ben suggests. “ like our bed. “

Mick groans. “ I’ve heard enough of your sex life over these years. “

Ben laughs. “ Well ours is very unique ain’t it? “

Mick scoffs at his comment, without any nastiness to it.
“ Come on boys - go ‘ome and get cleaned up. “

“ thanks mick. “ Callum smiles at him and he returns the smile too.

///

Callum cleaned away the blood on his husbands eyebrow and dropped it onto the table, with the other heap of bloody cotton wools.

“ this’ve been ya first punchup in 3 weeks. “ Callum says, would impress be the word?

Ben grins. “ You impressed babe? “

“ think I am to be far. “ Callum agrees. “ You used to get a punch every day years ago. “

“ well I’ve changed haven’t I? “

“ Yeh - still miss the old Ben like but this one? Love even more. “

Ben presses a kiss to Callum’s lips. “ Same here. “

Callum pulls away slightly, looking from Ben’s lips to his eyes. “ Sooo when you said about our bed, getting rid of that heated frustration? “ Callum dirtily smirks and Ben reflects the smirk.

“ Yeh? “

Callum slides of the coffee table and straddles his husbands thighs. “ I can think of a thing or two on how to treat it. “ he sucks hard on Ben’s neck.

“ I’m loving your way of thinking baby. “

Chapter Text

Callum slowly walked through the square in a trance, his mind full of self hatred and memories of his failures. He didn’t know where he was going, he just - walked around lost. He felt numb, disconnected from the world and his body.

Was he an angel?

When he looked around everything is a blur, the once colourful shades; now grey and died of their vibrant colours. Callum doesn’t want it anymore, he doesn’t want the life he’s been given. Callum was and still is always the odd one out, the awkward one out of the bunch.

Jonno would tell him as much, Callum never told anybody about what Jonno used to do to him. How his dad would abuse him, but he was clever about it. That’s what Callum hates, jonno was aggressive and he always found a way to hurt Callum where nobody would look.

Callum never took off his jumpers, always wore a long sleeved clothing. He never wore shorts. Always covered- always afraid.

Callum would bolt awake from a nightmare, when really. It was only his brain torturing Callum again with the past events. Jonno always drunk, slamming doors and slamming beer cans down. Callum would do something wrong, he would get tortured or when stuart wasn’t at home Callum would get it regardless the situation.

Stuart would fight back when Jonno hit him. Callum never did, he’s not a fighter, just vulnerable. Jonno took advantage of that and used it against Callum.

Ben once asked about the cuts, burn marks, dents, abnormal skin. Callum told him it was from the army. Ben hummed along, He wasn’t stupid, Ben wasn’t, he knew Callum was tortured by his dad. Like how Ben’s dad’s ex ( now ) girlfriend used to abuse him. Ben never asked what happened to Callum - knowing that sort of abuse is never easy to talk about.

Callum would forget Ben knew. He didn’t want any sympathy, he needed to push Ben away. To make him forget about him, so when Callum goes Ben won’t be sad anymore.

He wants to be with Chris, he understood him. Callum loved him - Chris loved him back - Callum was the one who killed him. He killed Chris’s heart when he never returned back to the Army, he killed his heart when Callum never contacted him again.

Ben was right when he said Callum is a coward, he is, he can’t even find the energy to kill himself. How pathetic is that? Maybe he deserves a slow death, a slow, lonely death where he can feel all the pain that Chris once felt.

Him and Chris could’ve been the real thing, they could be boyfriends by now. If Callum didn’t chicken out, if Callum just admitted his feelings. But no, he left it and now Chris is dead. He is with the innocent angels mocking Callum - Callum just wants forgiveness. Callum didn’t mean for that woman to die, he saved her little child and Callum watched her die.

The woman doesn’t forgive Callum, she tells him every night of every day. She follows him around yelling at him for not saving her too and now she won’t ever see her child grow up. Callum took her life away, Callum doesn’t deserve this life either.

Callum is a heartbreaker. All he knows is letting people down, ruining things. Whitney is another example of his failures. He’s wrecked her life, he lied to her, cheated on her and been the man he really wasn’t around her. He is the reason for driving Whitney out of her home, for making her feel like a laughing stock.
All she wanted was a nice, faithful man, to marry and start a family with. Yet, it had to be Callum. Everything he touches gets ruined.

it would make no difference if he disappeared. No one would miss him - Stuart would be sad but he’ll get over it, the Carter’s the same and Ben. Ben would be happy wouldn’t he? All Callum is a hassle, someone who just messes people around and doesn’t know what he wants. What has he got to live for? He works at a funeral parlour, has a flat on top of that and - that’s it.
No friends, a problematic brother, a shit homophobic abusive dad. No one would care if he died would they?

Callum walks into his flat, his feet stinging and bleeding. The energy drained out of him, he feels bone dead tired. He leaves his crumbled suit in a heap on the floor, he slides himself into his bed and lays there. The flat is so quiet, too quiet but Callum likes it. The peaceful atmosphere making Callum feel like he is floating, his head light but the heaviness still in his chest.

Another way to hurt yourself without leaving evidence.

He was meant to go to work today but what’s the point when you’re going die soon? Callum isn’t going to be here much longer, so Jay might as well get used to the empty desk.

Jay is always nice with Callum, he acts like his mate but Callum knows it’s a front. Callum doesn’t deserve anybody.

Callum lets his eyes fall, letting sleep consume him - wishing it was forever than temporary.

Callum used to lie awake at night back at the army bunkers. He would hear the distant gun shots being fired, the explosions and crackling and the screams.
He would wrap himself into the bed even more, when it came to those moments. Callum wished he could get killed out there, to get it done and dusted.

To have Chris wrapped in his arms, pressing silent kisses to his head telling him everything will be alright. And it will be.
Chris keeps telling Callum that, he’s always with Callum now.

He looks the exactly the same, sometimes he would be in his army uniform and sometimes in casual were. When Callum was alone at night Chris would sit next to him, holding his hand and they would have conversations together. Talk for hours till it came to 4 ‘o’ clock in the morning, Callum missed Chris but he doesn’t anymore. He is going to be with Chris, they are going to have their ending together, they can actually be together in the stars.

Callum blinks the tiredness away, his brain has been running along again. When he thinks he’s sleeping he’s not, he was talking to Chris again. He was talking about them being together again and Chris was pleased. He brushed away Callum’s over grown hair from his forehead and kissed his head. Callum told him he loved him and Chris did the same.

I can’t wait to be with you, he said.

-/-

“ Mitchell. “ Mick roughly calls, rolling his finger to get Ben to walk to him at the other far end of the bar. Where the double doors lead into the kitchen.

Ben frowns at him, glass still in hand, as he leans against the bar too. “ what? “

Micks eyes lock over the bar for a moment before looking at Ben. “ have you noticed anything- different about Halfway?”

Ben considers if it’s the right moment to say. He just thought it was just him who saw a dramatic yet slow changes in Callum.

The very first change Ben saw was how Callum seemed unbothered about things. He didn’t take an interest in anything anymore, he would hardly eat. Then about 2/4 weeks ahead, Ben would hear and get told by Jay that Callum is always late for work and even then Callum seems the least apologetic. Ben always liked Callum because of his looks; the clean shaven face, combed hair and he genuinely took a pride in his appearance. Even if he does live in that black suit. However, over recent weeks, Callum has developed a bit of a medium sided scruff on his jaw and around his mouth. Callum has let his hair grow out and sits -not messily - but not neat on his head. Ben found it odd, but didn’t comment- well he did comment - by making a joke. Ben would usually get an eye roll or a smirk when he told his lame, snarky jokes to Callum. But all he’s been getting is blank looks, Ben would ask if Callum is okay. He would get back “ I’m fine. “

And then the most recent, Callum never socialises anymore. He never texts anyone, he just sits at work starring into space or actually doing work ( that’s surprising these days ). Callum would always be in his flat in bed too, saying he’s tired. Nobody can get to the bottom about the problems Callum is having.

“ y-yeh I have. “

“ Our Lee used to be like that. “ Mick says, a passing comment.

Ben frowns harder. “ like what?”

“ depressed. “

“ how did you -“

“ I only found out when he was suicidal, saw a postcard with samaritans on it. “

“ You - was he -“

“ Lee said he tried to - ya know-“ Mick trailed off, memories building up again of that terrible day. “ but we did. We talk to ‘him and got ‘him ‘elp. “

“ and have you tried to help Callum? “

Mick sighs. “ his phones off, when I try to talk to him he ain’t there. “

“ how do you -“

“ mentally not there. I see him talking to himself. Like proper having conversations, in the park. “ mick explains concerned, lowering his voice not wanting anyone to hear. Only now wishing he asked Ben to go upstairs to talk. Ben’s face changes to alarmed, Callum has been having conversations with himself? Has he gone mad?

“ Have you told anyone else? “

“ L knows, she’s noticed too. I rang the docts about Callum and they can’t do anything ‘bout it ‘cos Halfway is an adult. He needs to get himself to the doctors. “

Ben puts the glass down on the wood and rubbed his face with his hands. He should’ve done something sooner, he shouldn’t have left it so late. What if he done something that could have prevented it? He should have supported Callum more.

“ I’m gonna head over to his now, we need to talk to ‘him. “
Ben told mick, he nodded quickly and got his coat. They walked to Calum’s flat fairly quickly and knocked on the door and getting no answer. They share a worrying look before Ben tried to open the door and it opened. They walked in, already confused because the door wasn’t locked. The 2nd thing was that the flat was stuffy, they called Callum’s name and he wasn’t there. The flat was a mess. Till, Mick walked into Callum’s room and found him laying in the bed. Literally just laying there, eyes open and blinking.

Micks face froze, so did Ben’s. Callum didn’t even flinch when they entered the room. Callum seemed out of it, curled in a ball with the quilt over him. His brunette hair sitting on the pillow whilst he blink every few seconds.

Mick creeped to him, treating Callum like a scared animal.
“ Halfway? “ he called once, the only response was a blink. “ Can you hear me? “ a nod. Mick looked at Ben with concern and pure helpless. Ben walked to his lover, completely out of his depth. He stroked away the lose strands of hair from Callum’s eyes.

“ Cal? Please tell us what’s wrong? “ Ben said softly. Mick looked at him amazed, he’s never heard Ben sound so soft and quiet.

“ I don’t want to be here. “ Callum whispered, the other two individuals nearly straining to hear him.

“ How - How Do you mean? “ ben feared.

“ I want Chris. “

Chris? “ Chris? “ mick repeated confused.

“ who’s Chris Cal? “ Ben asked.

“ I want to be with Chris. “ Callum repeated, rolling over and facing the wall. Ben stayed crouching down only seeing covered Callum’s back.

Both men walk into the living room standing opposite each other. “ He’s depressed. “ mick says. “ proper depressed. “

“ yeh thanks Einstein. “

“ Right let’s just clean his flat -“

“ and how’s that gonna do shit mick!? “ Ben shouted at him.

“ Well if you’ve got any ideas! “

Ben sighed heavily. “ You clean his flat then - like that’s gonna do shit - and I’ll talk to ‘him yeh? “

“ fine. “

Ben walked away, only letting his anger fade and took a deep breath. He doesn’t understand why he is so nervous for.
Ben strolls to the other side of the bed and crotches down. So he’s squatting.

“ Callum? “ Ben calls softly.
“You know I love ya voice. “ he starts, awkwardly. It makes Ben feel more out of place when all Callum does is blink at him, his eyes have never looked so empty and dead before. “ I always love listening to it, or when you ain’t there I rewatch videos of ya in bed. “ Ben explains, truthfully. He hesitantly slides his hand under the covers and loosely holds Callum’s hand. This is the moment for Ben to talk, to talk about his true feelings to Callum. To get him to understand he ain’t alone, that he has Ben.

“ I missed you. “ Mitchell chokes out, throat dry. “ I’ve missed your dorky face, always tryna make me happy when I’m feeling down. “ he trails off.
Ben’s shit at talking about feelings, he doesn’t know if this is even helping. “ You always said to me talking helps. You should take your own advice, communication helps others to understand what you’re going through. “

“ I want Chris. “ Callum repeats, quietly. His voice rough from the lack of talking and drinking.

“ Who’s Chris? “ Ben doesn’t know if it’s a real person or not.
He has never heard Callum talk about this Chris before, until now.

“ Me and Chris are going be together. “ Callum whispers, like it’s a secret. Only, Callum doesn’t move just muffled words coming out of his mouth.

Ben frowns, something uneasy building in his stomach. The way Callum is talking and how he talks with so much sad emptiness is worrying.

“ Where is Chris then? “ Ben plays along, curious.

“ Chris is with me. “ Callum murmurs tiredly.

“ he ain’t -“

“ I’m going to go with him. “

Ben bites his cheek hard, trying his best to not snap. He needs to be patient, even when Callum isn’t talking in proper sentences.

“ Go where? “

“ To the stars. “

Silence. Silence. Silence.

“ He’s dead? “

Ben wants to be sick.

“ I killed him, but forgives me. We’re going be together, finally. “ Callum’s eyes droop from the heavy tiredness settling in.

“ You - want to die? “ Ben lets out slowly. Callum can’t die, he can’t.

“ No one will notice. “

“ Callum of course we will! “

“ Chris’ll be happy. “ He whispers and falls asleep. Ben stares at him, tears dropping from his eyes. Mick steps forward into the room, he same sorrowful expression as Ben.

“ You - heard -?”

Mick nodded quickly, wiping away a few fallen tears.
“ We just - stay with him. Don’t leave him on his own - we’ll -“

And like a dam - Ben breaks. He sobs into his hands. “ I don’t want him to die! He can’t - he can’t leave me - us! Why is he sayin’ this?! “ he chokes out, his voice sounding terrible.

“ He don’t - he doesn’t know what he’s saying okay? He’s just -“ mick struggles to talk too. “ He’s in a bad place but we’ll get him back. “

“ i want my Callum back. “ Ben cries into micks chest.

///

Callum gets out of the bed. The bedroom casted in a dark shadow, he puts on trackies and a hoodie and some trainers on.
He sees Ben sleeping on a chair, next to the window - Callum’s blank face doesn’t change.

Ben shouldn’t be here. He should’ve forgotten about Callum but it’s okay now. Callum is the one who’s leaving. He walks through into the living room and Mick is asleep on the sofa. Callum has caused all this stress, even when he ain’t there. He can’t do right from doing wrong.

“ Ready? “ Chris asks Callum when they’re outside.

“ Ready. “ Callum smiles weakly.

///

“ Where is HE! “

“ Mick he’s gone! “

“ Mick! Mick! CALLUMS GONE! “

///

“ it’s beautiful isn’t it? “ Chris supposes, looking over the quarry face. The full moon out tonight with the stars glistening in the black sky.

“ We’re gonna be together- finally now aren’t we? “ Callum asks him, looking at the black.

“ Of course we are. “ Chris agrees casually. “ but Callum -“ he faces him. “ Do you really want this? “

Callum faces him too. “ what? “

“ Callum! Callum!! “ distant shouts unheard.

“ This, us. We -you- will be away forever, you can’t ever come back. “

“ Nobody wants me. I’m better off dead. “

“ Halfway! “ A rough shout coming closer. Callum turns to the shouts and his face slacks with panic.

“ they’re gonna - they can’t find me! “ Callum stresses.

“ Callum you need to calm down yeh? They only need to help you. “

“ you did - you did this! “Callum cries in betrayal.

“ I haven’t done anything. “

Ben gasps. “ Callum. “

“ Nonono. “ Callum cries, moving more closer to the edge.

“ don’t just - calm down Halfway. “ Mick reaches out his hand, heart hammering out of his chest.

“ I don’t want this! Why can’t you just let me die! “

“ because we love you too much to let you go. “ Ben tells him.

“ See? You have people who care about you Callum. “ Chris tells him.

“ but I want you. “ Callum chokes out.

“ Who you talking too? “ Mick says in confusion. Only seeing Callum staring at nothing.

“ Chris. “

“ Cal, he’s dead. “

“ He’s not! “ Callum shouts. “ we’re gonna be together ! I deserve this , I deserve to die because I’m nothing! All I cause is hassle, I’ve wrecked lives, I’ve not helped people enough. “

“ you have - “

“ Callum we can talk about this, just step away from the edge for me. “ Ben slowly steps forward.

“ I want want to talk. “ Callum whispers. “ I want everything to stop. “

“ What do you want to stop Cal? “ Ben asks him calmly, still slowly walking forward. Mick standing where he first found Callum.

“ The pain, flashbacks, nightmares. All of it hurts. “

“ we can get you help then. “

Callum shakes his head “ I don’t want help. I don’t want this life “

“ this life wants you Callum and all the people init want you. “

“ We need you Halfway. “ Mick pipes in.

Callum flings a arm at them, nearly falling back but steadies himself. Ben and mick nearly had an heart attack.

“ You’re only just saying this! “

“ we not. “ Ben shakes his head.
“ we are telling you all the reasons why you need to live. To not make this terrible mistake. “

“ we know you really don’t want this. “ Mick tells him. “ It’s that Chris-“

“ NO! He hasn’t done anything wrong! “

Ben shoot mick an angry stare, before looking back at Callum. He’s 4 inches away from him now. Still not touching.

“ if Chris Really loves you, you really think he wants you to die? “

“ I want us be together. “

“ Is that the only reason? “

Callum finally looks at Ben dead in the eye. Ben looks shattered. Callum must look even worse.

“ no. “ he whispers.

“ Right, we can talk more about this can’t we? “ Ben said calmly.

“ What about Chris? “

“ He’ll be fine, I think he’ll prefer you here alive then dead. “ Ben pointedly says. “ Paul would want me to live my life, to live a life for him. “

“ but he didn’t deserve to die. “ Callum says.

“ No he didn’t. and you don’t either. “

“ I just want the pain to go away Ben. “ Callum cries.

“ And it will babe, all you need to do is come with us. “

Callum looks at him both, their faces tight and controlled with fear. He slowly nods his head only- his foot slips and he goes to fall.

“ CALLUM! “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“ You terrified me. “ Ben told him, shaken up.

“ I’m sorry. “

“ we just want to help you. “ Mick tells him too.

“ I still want to die. “

“ we can get you help. “

Callum finally looked at them both and for the first time in a long time. He felt a tiny feeling of hope.

Chapter Text

Ben snuggled up against Callum in his semi conscious form but he slowly woke up. He grumbled in protest, feeling the sleep fade away till Callum kept moving in his sleep. Ben frowned at him seeing the light cover of sweat on his forehead, the way Callum’s whole front was flushed and shiny. Ben pressed his palm against his boyfriends forehead and the skin was boiling hot.

“ M’nonono. “ Callum rolled from side to side, mumbling in his sleep. Ben gently shook Callum to wake him up but he never did. “ Chris - Chris -“

Ben felt his heart drop slightly. Callum never mentioned anyone called Chris but Callum wouldn’t ever cheat again. The last time it nearly killed Callum and he wouldn’t ever go down that root again.

“ I’m - I’m sorry - “ The world slipped out. Ben could tell the nightmare was distressing from the way Callum was muttering the words.

“ NO! “

Ben jumped out of his skin. Callum bolted up from the bed panting violently. He was shaking like a leaf, he looked completely zoned out with his eyes unfocused.

“ Cal? Callum? Are you okay? “ He didn’t know if he should touch him or not. It pained Ben to not know what Callum needs at this moment of time.

“ I’m sorry -“ Callum grasped out.

“ why you apologising for? “ Ben asked him softly, he slowly run his fingers through Callum’s wet hair.

“ I - I didn’t save - she’s dead -“

Ben shuffled closer to him and placed his hand on Callum’s arm. He immediately knew what Callum is talking about.

“ You saved her child cal, you didn’t have enough time to save her. Even if you did - you would’ve died too. “ Ben explained, needing Callum to understand. If Callum did die, way before they even met, Ben wouldn’t have found love again, he wouldn’t have another boyfriend and found his soulmate. So, in some horrible terms Ben’s glad Callum didn’t have enough time to save that woman.

“ but she’s gonna miss her child grow up. “ Callum choked out, his breathing steadying slowly.

“ Maybe be so but at least her child does grow up. “ Ben assures his boyfriend. Ben tilted his head to the side slightly and looked at Callum hesitantly.
“ you mentioned someone. “

“ did i? “ Callum frowns, confused.

“ Someone called Chris. “

Callum tensed. “ No I didn’t. “

“ You did. “

Callum scrambled from the bed and practically ran out of the bedroom into the living room. He poured himself some cold water and gulped it down, feeling Ben right behind him. The silence deafening.

“ You never mentioned anyone called Chris. “

“ Because he’s - it’s irrelevant now. “ He won’t ever be relevant in Callum’s life, even he knows that.

“ Cal, you can talk to me you know. “ Ben told him quietly. He stepped slowly to him and sat on the counter beside his boyfriend.

Callum’s head dipped downwards with a shaky breath. “ I know. “

“ So talk then.”

Callum sighed heavily, turning around and leaned against the counter. He crossed his arms over his chest, the nightmare still vidid in his mind. The images of the war-zone, different people shouting at him. The gun shots and explosions with people dead on the ground.

If the war doesn’t kill you, you kill yourself because of the war.

“ I don’t know where to start. “ Callum rubbed his forehead. He wants to bury those memories, like what he saw back there.

“ Start from the beginning. “ Ben told him softly.

“ it’s complicated. “

“ Isn’t everything. “ Ben joked lightly. “ I’m getting the feeling you want to keep me in the dark. “

Callum sighed again, he walked away from Ben and started to pace in small circles. He peaked out the curtain to check if anything is there. He always feels it, the feeling of being watched all the time.

“ it’s not that. “ Callum said from the back of his throat, he carried on looking through the window. Ben frowned harsher at him, just watching Callum looking out through the window as if he’s waiting or expecting someone to be there.

HELP!

Callum jumped like a cat.
“ You didn’t just hear that!? “ he looked at Ben with wide eyes terrified.

“ Heard What? “

HELP ME PLEASE!

“ THERE AGAIN! “ Callum shouted, panicking. Callum frantically ran his shaking fingers through his wet hair.
Ben jumped off the counter and walked slowly to him.

Ben is kinda used to these situations now. Callum out of it when he had a nightmare, or when a loud bang happens Callum looks like he’s reverted back to the Army. But this is new.

“ Cal there’s nothing there. Just you and me. “ Ben told him truthfully. He placed both hands either side of Callum’s arms.

Callum shook his head, tearing up. “ She - it was her. She was calling for me to help her. “

“ she’s dead. She can’t -“

Callum shook his head, frustrated. “ I need to check. “

Ben opened his mouth speechless. “ How are you possibly going to do that? “

Callum slid down the wall burying his head in his knees shaking. Ben can’t believe how a tall man like Callum can look so small. Ben came the same level as Callum and held him.

“ Let’s just go to bed okay? We can talk tomorrow. “

“ I can’t - I don’t want to talk. “

“ Callum you need help. “ Ben admitted, quietly.

“ I’m fine! “ Callum cried out.

“ You know your not. “

Callum ignored him. “ Let’s just - just go to bed. “ he said slowly. They got up from the floor and tiredly made their way back to bed. Ben was the big spoon and cradled Callum in his chest. Ben rested his chin on top of Callum’s head and pressed a kiss to his head.

“ I’ll help ya cal, whatever happens. “

-:-

The morning was tense. Ben stepping around Callum waiting for any sort of trigger and Callum was in a daze. He was barely awake, just acting on instinct. Callum sat heavily on the chair at the table slowly playing with his porridge and grapes. He didn’t know Ben was watching him.

“ Are you okay? “

“ fine. “ Callum said emotionless.

“ Last night -“

“ I need go to work. “ Callum shot Ben off with a slight harshness to his voice.

“ We to talk about this! “ Ben called after him which left on deaf ears. Ben hates this when they argue or just have a lack of communication going.

Ben roughly turns the screw clockwise in one of the car engines at The Arches. He’s been working all morning trying to distract himself. Callum hasn’t texted him all morning and Callum always texts him. Ben shot jay a quick text, disguising his worries about Callum. He didn’t want to bring unwanted attention to Callum in case it made the situation worse. When jay texted back saying everything is fine - Ben breathed again. Callum wasn’t dead or something.

“ oi! “ Ben stills for a moment hearing his dad but doesn’t move waiting for him to speak.
“ go have a bre’ak till 1. “ he ordered.

“ but -“

Phil gestures at him with a look of annoyance. “ You’ve been in dolly day dream land all mornin’ “

“ I ain’t said anything! “ Ben faces Phill, in defensive mode.

“ Yeh that’s the point Ben. You ain’t made some snarky fucking comment all mornin’. “

Ben sighed, dropping the screwdriver into the tool box.
“ I’ve been minding my own business dad. “

“ Yeh I know Ben, what’s wrong. “

“ nothing. “ He ain’t going to do deep and meaningful with his dad.

“ Ben, just spit it out will ya. “ Phil grumbled, strolling from one of the cars nearest to his son to the desk and sat down.

Ben looked beyond hesitant. Should he tell his dad ( and god Phil Mitchell is like the worse person to talk too. It’s a robot ) about Callum or carry on suffering in silence about what to do?

“ it’s about Callum. “ Ben speaks before he even processes anything.

Phil Halfway flings his hands up as to say ‘ yeh and.’

“ well he’s been - having - “

“ bloody hell this is painful. “ phill mutters.

“ you know what leave it. “ Ben walks to the doors.

“ get your arse back ‘ere now and tell me what’s wrong. “ Phil demands. Ben retreats and slowly walks back to him. He sits on one of the car fronts.

“ he’s been havin’ nightmares. “

“ yeh he told me. “

“ what!!! “ Ben half shouted. Callum. Callum bloody Highway has been talking to his dad. Who by the way is Phil Mitchell. Have they both been sitting around the table talking - Phil Mitchell - being....supportive?

Phil shrugs. “ what? I’m a nice person when I want to be. “

“ But -“

Phil sighs. “ I saw ‘im few weeks back in the park. “ he explains.
“ It was dark - nearly 11 and he was panicking about something. Shouting’ and all sorts. “

“ Was that - when I at that overnight business? “ Ben filled the blanks. He feels dreadful, when Callum needed him he wasn’t there. Callum never even told him, is there anything else Callum is hiding away from him? Is Callum still self harming?

Ben feels his blood turn to ice.

“ Yeh. I brought ‘him back to his flat and we talked. I managed to calm him down. “ Phill informed his son. “ eventually...” he added.

“ but why - why didn’t you tell me? “ Ben asked him, confused and betrayed.

Phill sighed again, getting uncomfortable. “ Because he didn’t want to worry ya. “

“ But I’m his boyfriend! “

“ yes ben, we are aware of that. “

“ I need to speak to him. “ Ben rushed out, just about he was to leave phill stopped him again.

“ Don’t go all Ben Mitchell on him. He’s fragile. “

Ben turned to him angrily. “ You think I don’t know that?! “

“ I know and I also know when something has pissed you off, You go off the rails. “

Ben ignored him, shooting him a look and making his way to the funeral place. He didn’t knowledge that he was still in his oily overalls.

“ Ben? You alright? “ Jay approached his brother seeing how he looked livid.

“ no I am not alright jay. “ Ben snapped. “ Where’s Callum? “

“ driving in the hoarse. “

Ben sighed angrily and plonked himself down at the table. “ tell him, when I’m done with him he will be in a hoarse. “ he knows he doesn’t really mean it, he wouldn’t ever hurt Callum verbally or physically.

Jay made a ‘o’ mouth shape and shot Callum a text.

Jay - Ben wants your head when you come back. What’ve u done?

Jay slipped his phone back into his suit pocket and sat at the desk. He rested his elbows on the arm rest and held his hands together.

“ right what has he done. “ Jay said heavily.

“ Lied. “ Ben snapped. “ Or well just not been telling me things. “

“ about what? “

“ You can’t tell anyone for now, okay? “

“ right - fine. “

“ Cals been having nightmares. I think he has PTSD. “

Jay breathed out shocked. “ wow. “

“ I dunno how to ‘elp him. “ Ben said, at a loss.

“ Well he needs professional help. “ jay said like Ben didn’t already know.

“ yes thank you Jay, I didn’t know that. “ Ben sarcastically commented. “ how can I get him help if he won’t even admit it? “

“ Talk to him. One to one, don’t just drop it on him. Let him see that what he’s going through ain’t normal. “

“ And I always thought you were thick. “ Ben sweetly smirked cheekily.

“ What does that make you then? “ Jay tilted his head and narrowed his eyes.

“ A genius. “

“ a genius who doesn’t know how to help his boyfriend. “ Jay said the remark before he even thought about it. Bens face fell and hung his head slightly lower. “ mate I’m sorry I didn’t mean it. “

“ no - no it’s fine. “ he waved him off, hurt.

“ ugh you won’t believe the day I’ve just had -“ Grumbled Callum, walking into jays office and seeing his boyfriend there too. Ben turned his body around to him, not impressed.

“ Oh Really Callum? Please enlighten us. “

Callum sighed softly, eyes darting to an amused Jay back to Ben. “ Babe-“

Ben stood up, face to face - well face to shoulder ( because Bens small ). “ What are our loyalties in our relationship Callum? “

“ someone’s in trouble. “ Muttered Jay. Both of them ignored him. The audacity really, when they’re having a domestic in his office.

“ Truth, communication, no lies, love, no deceit and safety. “ Callum listed off, using that voice where you’re in the doghouse.

“ not a lot then. “ Jay muttered again. He can’t help himself.

“ and which ones did you break? “

“ But Ben -“

“ which one did you break Callum. “ Ben empathised each word.

“ truth. “

Ben hummed. “ We’re going back to the flat to talk. “ he didn’t, it was a command.

“ but I can’t -“

“ Yeh Ben he can’t just walk out -“

“ Jay you’re working with dead people. I don’t think they’ll notice. “ he turned to his boyfriend. “ come on Halfwit. “

Callum groaned at the memory. “ Shirley used call me that. “

“ and now I am. Get a move on! “ he pushed Callum out of the door without any anger. Jay watched them go and now he’s sitting in silence.

“ Idiots. “ he muttered to himself.

Ben placed two mugs full of tea onto the table. He sat down opposite his boyfriend but close enough to support him and touch him.

“ I just found out by my dad you two been talking about your nightmares. “ Ben starts off, not exactly sounding to impressed.
“ it’s not enough to talk to your boyfriend but it’s fine to talk to bloody Phil Mitchell? “ he makes a face at the logic. “ I’m I really that bad that you can’t even talk to me? “ Ben let his vulnerability show, it’s only them two in the room. He feels comfortable enough to expose it in front of Callum.

“ It’s not like that Ben. “ Callum told him, tiredly. He hates himself more making Ben insecure.

“ Then tell me! When we first got together we agreed to talk about our feelings. We don’t lie. “

“ I was protecting you, I didn’t want to burden ya with my baggage. “ Callum confessed, not meeting Ben’s eye. “ You’ve already been helping me and I didn’t want you to resent me or laugh at me because of it. “

“ You honestly think that? “ Ben let out quietly.

Callum looked apprehensive.
“ you - you make jokes and snarky comments don’t ya? “ he admitted, nervously. As each word he says the more he wants to die. “ I didn’t want to be laughed at, i know it’s only your sense of humour but - I didn’t want to be a laughing stock. “ Confessed Callum, he hates how his shoulders feel a tiny bit lighter. Ben didn’t say anything and that nerved Callum even more. “ The square already think I’m a bit of a - you know and if they - if they found out I’m havin’ nightmares and you have to look after me -“ he blew out a frustrated breath. “ I didn’t want to look pathetic and weak. “

“ all this is my fault ain’t it? “ Ben cried nearly. “ I’ve pushed you away without even meaning too. “ he panicked. He’s managed to push away the love of his life. He’s wrecked another relationship, he’s made Callum not want to talk to him about his feelings. Just because Ben isn’t good at talking and always makes jokes - Callum honestly thought Ben would be uncaring and be so cruel? That stung, probably hurt more than all the punches and beating combined.

Callum rushed to him, knowing his boyfriend is overthinking.
He held Ben’s hands tightly and brought Ben’s head to face his.

“ You ain’t done anything Ben. It’s me. My insecurities okay? You haven’t done anything wrong, you’ve helped me loads. “ Callum confesses, his own voice shivering with fear seeing his boyfriend upset because of him.

“ I didn’t mean to push you away Callum! “ Ben tears up, his voice breaking slightly. “ I would never pick on you - especially with what your going through! I’m so sorry cal, please forgive me. “ He cries softly, not meeting Callum’s gaze again.

“ Of course I forgive ya, you muppet. I’ve got nothing to forgive you for, but you ain’t done anything wrong. “

And that’s when he looks back at Callum again, all confused and conflicted. “ then why talk to me dad and not me? “

“ Because - when you were staying over night at that place. I had another nightmare but I was still in it - when I woke up. “ Callum explained heavily, getting uncomfortable because the memories are invading his mind again. Ben moved his thumb in a soothing rhythm over Callum’s skin on his hand. “ i saw them - “

“ Who? “

“ Chris. That woman. The captain - all of them were just shouting at me ‘n’ followin’ me. So I ran - I didn’t know where I was going. Till your dad helped me at the park and brought me back here. “

“ You should’ve told me. “

“ you were happy to see me the next day. “ Callum said simply. “ I didn’t want to wreck that, especially when you were hopeful that I didn’t have any nightmares that night. “

“ I should’ve noticed. “

Callum shook his head softly.
“ You was happy to see me, even more so when you bagged that deal. “

Mitchell sighed, eschewing Callum’s gaze for a split second.
“ I’m always worried about you. Even more terrified when you keep me in the dark. “ Ben explained, honestly. “ I’ve been thinking all sorts. “

Callum’s eyebrows narrowed.
“ like what? “

“ You self harming again. “

Callum’s face fell in shock and overwhelmed. “ No Ben, i haven’t done that in a long ‘time. “

“ But thought about it? “ He filled in the sadly.

Callum looked ashamed. “ yeh. “

“ what stopped you then? “

“ you. “

“ me? “ He repeated surprised.

“ You always ‘elp me Ben. I - I saw the razor in the bathroom and - and I was about to -“ Callum gulped, a sad cover went over Ben’s eyes hearing this. “ -But I thought of you. I thought of you being so disappointed and I didn’t want to - I didn’t want you to be disappointed in me. “
Ben slid closer to his boyfriend, wrapping his hand around Callum’s neck with the other cupping his jaw. Ben stared deep in Callum’s eyes.

“ I would and will never be disappointed in you Callum. Never. “

“ At the time though-“

“ I know baby, but I would never think that of ya. “

“ I hate feeling like this Ben. “ Callum confessed, vulnerable.

Ben blinked softly, stroking Callum’s jaw with his thumb. “ Like What, Babe? “

“ Defeated. I can’t just go through one day without feeling normal anymore. “

“ We can get you help then. We can get you feeling like you again. “

Callum sighed heavily. “ I don’t even know who I am anymore. “

Ben shuffled a bit more, pushing his right leg into the V of Callum’s legs. “ Well your soft, an idiot, sincere, a intelligent muppet, loving caring - “ Ben listed off, pressing each kiss to the words on Callum’s neck.
“I’ll do anything to get you back to ‘normal’ okay? I won’t ever let anything bad happen to you or let you feel suffocated to the point of self conflict. “

“ I love you Ben Mitchell. “

“ I love you more Callum Highway. “

Chapter Text

Ben walked into Callum’s hospital room in a trance. Callum plays hero and pays the price. When Bobby was in the tunnel Callum ran after him, saving him but - the train caught onto Callum’s blazer. Callum was flung with the train for about 60 yards. Before finally being dropped because of his suit coat ripping and separating Callum and the train.

Bobby was safe, not a single scratch on him. Callum. Callum was broken. The doctors were surprised he was even alive still, they were waiting for Callum to die because any person would’ve. After being attached to a speeding train.

Ben was waiting 13 minutes for Callum on their date. When he heard Ian repeatedly tell Bobby to calm down and the mention of Callum. Ben felt his world stop. He rushed straight to the hospital without even thinking, he didn’t let himself think. When he finally got the doctors to tell him about Callum he broke down into sobs. In the middle of the doctors room.

Ben takes Callum free hand and gently squeezes it. He wouldn’t cope if Callum died, he’ll always love Paul but - Callum is his soul mate. He understands Ben, they’re a match and fit together perfectly.

“ Please Callum. Please wake up - don’t - don’t leave me. “ Ben whimpered, resting his head on the edge of the hospital bed.

The ICT unit was quiet, deathly silent and Ben hated it. The doctors and nurses walking up and down the corridor, having jobs to do. Whilst his Callum is barely hanging on a thread.

Ben blow out a long, hard breath trying to compose himself. Callum would hate it if he was crying. Ben would remember Callum wiping away his tears and telling him how things will eventually get better. When Ben was having a bad day. All he wants is for Callum to wake up and tell him everything will be okay, but Ben isn’t naive. It won’t ever be okay.

Stuart creeped into his brother’s room, his face barely changing when he saw Ben’s shoulders silently shaking. Ben’s soft little sniffs and whimpers being heard in the room.

“ How is he? “ Stuart asked, his voice the usual cold tone. Ben jumped a tad looking over his shoulder still sniffling. He wiped his falling tears with his sleeve and cleared his throat. Yet, he didn’t move.

“ No change. “

Stuart’s shoulders dropped and let out a sigh of annoyance. “ still? “

“ yeh Stuart. He was attached to a bloody train. “ Ben snapped, not facing him.
Stuart walked to the other side of his brother and sat down opposite Ben. Who looked more annoyed by his presence.

“ I’m sorry. “

Ben frowned, at the unexpected apology. “ You What? “

“ I’m sorry. I know - I know he means a lot to ya. “ Stuart awkwardly said, nearly cringing. “ I don’t know why - I dunno what he even sees in ya but -“ he took a deep breath, like what he has said is taking away his pride. “ I know you and him care for each other. “

Ben genuinely doesn’t know what to say. Everything the bald headed freak said was right but - why would Stuart suddenly say all this?

“ What are you up too? “ Ben asked him, narrowing his eyes.

“ I ain’t up to nowt. What happened to cal, it’s made me realise- hating you - causing my brother more hassle ain’t worth it. Especially when my little brother could be taken away from me. “

Ben let out a sigh, slowly nodding his head. He’ll never like Stuart, but, for Callum’s sake he’ll be civil. He’ll do anything for Callum.

“ I told dad -“

“ your freak of a dad? “

“ yeh. “ Stuart simply said. “ He weren’t bothered. He just said it’s Callum’s own fault for savin’ ‘him. “

“ You What! “ Ben shouted.

“ T’old him where to go ‘n’ haven’t heard from him since. “

Ben scoffed, muttering under his breath. “ Scumbag. “

Suddenly the heart monitor went ballistic, loud beeping noises filling the room. Both men shot up sharing equal terrified looks and the nurses and doctors bursting in.

“ - You need to go -“

“ no no - wait what’s happening!? “

“ Callum! “

“ - He’s waking up - you need to leave now -“

Ben and Stuart stared aimlessly through the window helplessly. They watched the nurses and doctors calming down Callum and taking out the tube from his throat. It’d taken a solid 30 minutes before they were allowed to in. Only, the doctor stopped them.

“ Mr Highway is extremely weak and will be confused after being in a coma for 3 weeks. You need to lay off him, let him stay calm and relaxed. “ The Doctor ordered them both, sternly. Before continuing. “ Callum may be confused for a while, we did talk to him and it shows. But you need to let him remember on his own terms. “

Stuart and Ben said their thanks and walked back into the room. Their own heard beating horrendously waiting for anything to happen.

“ You - You Alright brov? “ Stuart forced a smile at him. He sat back down at his original seat and so did Ben.

Callum didn’t speak, his throat as dry as sandpaper. Everything ached, his head foggy and the last few minutes already felt like a life time ago.

“ What - w-what happened? “ Croaked out of his throat.

Ben’s eyebrows borrowed.
“ You don’t remember? “

Callum slowly shook his head, a lack of effort. He looked down with his eyes, taking in the 2 broken legs, 1 broken arm, wires, cuts, broken fingers, his ribs ached and they were broken too. The bandage around his head that tight he’s half surprised the top of his head hasn’t busted off.

“ I think - there was a train? “ Callum let out confusingly.

“ Yeh there was Cal, well done. “ Ben smiled, proud. Callum only nodded before looking back at Stuart with a frown.

“ do I know you? “

Stuart sat frozen. “ Don’t Be stupid. It’s me - Stuart. “

Callum’s mouth went into a straight line, still confused. Ben looked at them both with a puzzled expression.

“ Cal, this is your brother “ Ben informed him. God, he really hopes Callum hasn’t forgotten about him.

“ I? I have a brother? “ Callum looked more puzzled by the second.

“ I need to go - “ Stuart stumbled to get up and left the room. He went to the toilets and cried in one of the toilets.
Ben cleared his throat, subconsciously waiting for Callum to forget about him too.

“ Do you remember anything else? “ Ben didn’t want to ask.

“ Chris. “

“ eh? “

“ where’s Chris? “ Callum repeated, now sounding a little bit more normal.

“ I don’t now who that is? “

“ He was - was my -“ Callum couldn’t breathe. Like someone switched off his lung function. Ben passed him his oxygen mask and waited patiently for Callum to continue. “ He was sorta my boyfriend. “

Ben’s face went slack. “ in the army? “ It sounded more like a question.

Callum slowly nodded his head, it was difficult with his head against the pillows. Callum’s eyes were going heavy as he blinked slowly.

“ I never - never got to tell ‘him I love him. “ he whispered out the last few words before drifting off to sleep. Ben sat there still, unable to think. Callum had another boyfriend? In the army? He wasn’t the first?

Ben headed out of the room needing some air.

-/-

Later on Ben returned back to Callum’s room, full of anxiety. He didn’t know what to expect at all, is Callum still the same? Has Callum got brain damage and will never be the Callum he fell in love with?

Instead, he walked in and found Callum and Stuart talking.
“ alright? “ Callum knowledge him. Ben’s eyes widened slightly in hope.

“ Y-Yeh fine. Are you okay? “ now, went unmentioned.

“ Yeh I’m fine thanks, bit achy but I’ll survive. “ Callum joked, a smile on his face. Ben nervously smiled back, knowing something is up by Stuart’s tense face.

“ I’m sure that’s normal after what you’ve been through. “ Stuart agreed.

Callum hummed, shifting with a wince. Ben sat down opposite Callum deciding not to hold his hand. It feels weird too now, it feels like Callum isn’t his anymore and it’s horrible.

“ Has the doctors come yet? “ Ben asked them, silently hoping they will do.

“ they’re - “ The doors open and in comes the Doctor. “ speaking of the devil. “ Callum smirks, a new glint in his eyes.

Then realisation hits Ben - this Callum, seems more relaxed like the world isn’t weighing him down. Ben doesn’t know which Callum he likes ( obviously both but it is a new change ). This Callum seems so carefree and free from the demons but the other Callum cute and awkward.

The female doctor smiles at his cheekiness. She looks down at her clipboard for a quick second before looking at them all.

“ Mr Highway -“

“ please just call me Callum. “ He interrupted with a small smile.

She nods and carries on respectfully. “ Callum would you rather have your family and friends with you or speak on your own? “ She suggests first.

“ twos better than one! “ Callum laughs at his own sentence. Ben grins softly and Stuart’s lips turn up very slightly.

“ The swelling has gone down on your brain Callum which is good. Have you noticed any changes in Callum? “ She points the question at Stuart and Ben.

Ben shifts and looks at her hesitantly. “ Well he seems more cheerful and relaxed. “

“ and he ain’t awkward or flustered anymore. “ Stuart adds.

The doctor hums, writing down what they said. “ it seems that you have a personality transplant Callum. “ She includes Callum into the conversation, quite bluntly.

“ Is that - How? “ Stuart stutters out, shocked.

“ Because of the severe swelling on your brain and the damage from the large impact. It has caused the part of the brain to be damaged also. “ the Doctor explained to them all.

“ is it life threatening? “ Callum blurted out.

“ no. It just means - you won’t exactly ever be the same again. Like how would remembered you. “

Ben felt nauseous building up his throat.

“ Is it permanent? “ Stuart required.

She tilted her head to the side, unsure. “ Callum may regain his personality back or never. It really depends on how he improves. “

“ wait - Callum forgotten about me when he woke up - is that normal? “

“ yes, he did just come out of a 3 week coma. “ The Doctor bluntly said.

“ When will he come home? “ Ben choked out.

“ Considering Callum has broken both of his legs he’s immobile. Can he stay at a house without any stairs? “

Ben sat up straighter. He’s going to be looking after Callum and that’s final. He needs more time with Callum, he’ll do anything to spend more time with him.

“ me! He can stay with me. “

Stuart grumbled something and stared at him.

“ Are you willing to be there 24/7 care for him? “ the doctor questioned. “ Callum will need as much support as possible and will need help getting to places. “

“ it’s fine. He can stay at my mums. There’s a enough room. “ Ben answered, a little possessively.

“ Is that okay with you Callum? “ She asked for his input.

“ more than fine! “ Callum smiled. “ I can spend more time with this hottie can’t i?! “ he joked, reaching over and stroking Ben’s scruffy jaw. Who blushed like a tomato.

“ Thats sorted then. I’ll get your discharge papers for tomorrow. Till then, have a good rest. “ she smiled and left.

“ I want to look after my own brother. “ Stuart seethed.

“ Well you stayin’ at Cals aren’t cha? That has stairs, mine ain’t. He can sleep on the bed sofa. “ Ben smugly said, leaning back with his arms closed over his chest.

“ It seems fine stu. “ Callum replied. “ If that means I can have his hands all over me - splendid! “

Ben choked out a laugh whilst Stuart looked like he was going to combust.

Ben is going to love looking after Callum.

-:-

Ben wheeled Callum into the beales house and accidentally knocking Callum’s broken arm making him gasp.

“ shit sorry! “

“ nah it’s fine. If it’s this Rocky whilst your pushin’ me I’ll hate it if ya rode on me in the bedroom. “ Callum smirked at the innuendo.

“ cheeky you are Callum Highway. “

“ hmm. Extra cheeky in the bedroom too. “

Ben chuckled, shaking his head. He wheeled him into the living room and helped Callum into the sofa. Meaning, he had to lift Callum’s legs.

“ Now, when attractive men have to lift my legs up - I usually expect to be taken on a date first. “ Callum commented when he was now safely sitting on the sofa. “ by the way - you need to cut your finger nails. “ Callum advised him, who had his hands on his hips looking at him with affectionate expression. “ I’ll hate it if you scratched me. “ Callum’s smirk widened.

“ I don’t know if I prefer this Callum or the other one? “ Ben tilted his head, half teasing.

Callum shrugged. “ I’m still the Callum you once new. Just the updated version. “

“ the dated version? “ Ben repeated, faking confusion. “ oh my days. “

Callum pushed his head back and looked at him with a smile. “ I really fancy some chips and a sausage. “

“ what kind of sausage? “ Ben said, meaning the different types of sausages to eat. Not the innuendo type.

“ well, I want a thick, juicy one but i suppose any will do. “

“ Are we talking about the same thing or-? “

“ I don’t mind. I’ll eat any sausage any day me. “

“ right. “

“ Have you got a good package on you Ben? “

Ben sputtered out a laugh.
“ it’s decent. “

Callum tilted his head and looked straight at Ben’s crotch. Ben blushed like a bloody girl.

“ Hmmm. Seems big enough to me. “ Callum’s says impressed. “ I’ll differently eat that. “

“ Callum! You can’t just say things like that! “

“ what!? It’s true! “

“ right I’ll get your chips. “ Ben changed the topic. “ And the sausage. “

“ Your sausage? “

“ no Callum. “ Ben answered. “ Salt or vinegar? “

“ Salt is a bit sour isn’t it? Definitely when I’m putting it on your -“

“ vinegar it is then! “ Ben shot him down and walked to the back door.

“ and get the sausage! Don’t damage it as I want to give it a suck later on with my chips!! “

‘ This is going to be - excitingly exhausting’ Ben thought. He wouldn’t change anything about it though. Well, maybe the temporary or permanent personality transplant.

Chapter Text

Ben didn’t mean to snoop through Callum’s things, but he was tidying away clutter and he’s become a melt now so that’s that. When he accidentally knocked a lid off a box, a few things caught his attention. A army hat, letters and more letters with some candid photographs.
Ben had a little look, then he was on the bed reading through all the letters because- he was being nosy. Callum had a love interest, his used to be closet case boyfriend loved somebody else. By looking at Callum’s handwriting too and with the dates on.

Ben didn’t hear the front door open or the footsteps till he felt all the items being busted out of his grasp.

“ What the hell do you think your doin’! “ Callum screeched, putting all the items back into its home.

Ben stood up abruptly and looked guilty as hell. “ I didn’t mean to snoop -“

Callum angrily laughed at him, making Ben feel even worse and maybe a little - scared? It felt like he was a little child again, being shouted at by Phil and memories of Stacy too.

“ You didn’t mean to snoop? You were sittin’ on the bed reading through my personal belongings! “

“ I dunno why you’re being so weird -“

“ Because he meant a lot to me Ben! He was everything and I don’t expect to find my flippin’ boyfriend reading through mine and his letters! “ Callum blurted out, anger evident in his voice.

“ Callum stop acting so fucking -“

“ get out. “

Ben looked shocked at Callum’s cold voice. “ h-what? “

“ I said get out Ben before I throw you out. “ And by the way Callum was looking at him made Ben move faster out of the flat. He doesn’t understand why Callum is being so weird about a few letters? Okay, maybe he shouldn’t have read them but to get that kind of reaction? It wasn’t needed. It was the first time where he properly saw Callum livid and would never want to see that again.

Callum heavily sat down on the bed with the letters tight in his grasp. He immediately felt guilty. He shouldn’t have treated Ben like that, but, it touched a nerve. He felt exposed, only him and Chris saw what was said and to have someone else ( he knows Ben isn’t just someone else ) reading what they used to have. It felt invaded.
Plus, all the stress Callum has had with work ( it isn’t an excuse but more valid points to support Callum’s reaction ), with his own guilt with Whitney, Jonno, Stuart, his own Mental Health - he just snapped. Unfortunately, Ben was the last straw.

Callum got into his baggy trackies and hoodie, needing to calm down himself. He put away the box neatly back into its original place and walked into the living room. The flat was quiet without Ben and he hated it. They always spent their hours with each other after work, to have a takeaway away or a date or Callum cooking. Now Callum has fucked it all up.

Callum - I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have reacted like that, come home? x

He hit send and huffed out a loud sigh. He really hopes he hasn’t blown it with Ben, with his own stupidity.

The door opens quietly 10 minutes later and Ben walks in, on edge like he doesn’t know what to do or how to act. Callum stands up and hugs his boyfriend, hating the vulnerable look he put on Ben’s face.

“ I’m so sorry baby. “ He murmurs in Ben’s shoulder.

Ben tightens his grip around Callum’s waist. “ I shouldn’t have looked through your stuff. “ he spoke into Callum’s chest, his words slightly muffled.

Callum pulled away from his boyfriend and brought them both to the sofa. He sat down and laced their fingers together.

“ I should tell ya. “ Callum started off, uncomfortably and heavily.

Ben frowned slightly, feeling himself internally dreading for whats to come. “ Course. “

Callum took another deep breath. “ Chris and me - we - we used to be together- kind of. “

“ Kind of? “

“ In the army. I still - in the closet but I developed feelings for him and - I loved him. “

“ and he loved you back? “

Callum nodded, blinking back tears. “ We never had - sex just intimate in other ways. “

“ what happened to him? “ Ben asked softly.

“ He died. “ Callum simply said.

“ Cal I’m so sorry -“

“ s’not your fault. “ He shrugged, cutting him off. “ Just never got to tell ‘him I loved him. “

“ He would’ve known. “

“ He did say in the letters and his sister told me. “

“ You went to the funeral? “ Ben didn’t know why he sounded surprised.

“ A year ago now. “

“ when did he die? “

“ Today. “

Ben’s eyebrows shot up and mentally kicked himself. “ and that’s why you reacted like that. It’s the day of his death and I was readin’ through personal stuff -“ he bit his lip, feeling utterly guilty.

“ It’s fine Ben, it just - it was just for me and him you know? When I saw ya readin’ through it - it felt invaded. “ Callum explained, heavily. “ I’m not guilty of him or not guilty of you but - Chris still means a load to me. I’ll always be guilty for not telling him how I feel. “

“ It’s not your fault Cal, if his sister knew about you and ‘him - it was possible that he knew you loved him too. “

Callum didn’t say anything, unable to speak too overwhelmed for some reason.

“ It’ll be the same with me and Paul you know? If I saw someone rooting through our stuff - I would’ve freaked out. “ Ben opened up, trying to make Callum understand and not feel the odd one out.

“ I’m still sorry for the way I reacted. I hate seein’ you look so scared. “

“ It’s fine. “ Ben smiled weakly, meaning it. “ And anyway - both of us know I’m the stronger one. “

Callum chuckled, wiping away his tears. He doesn’t even know why he so so emotional. “ ‘cos I’m such a big softie. “

Ben tilted his head to the side, a little lustful smile developing. “ well - you got that right -“ he reached down into Callum’s crotch and stroked him through the fabric.

“ Sex mad you are. “

Ben hummed along, pressing a kiss to Callum’s lips still teasing Callum’s now hard on. “ Especially when I’ve got a boyfriend like you. “

“ Think it’s the other way ‘round mate. “

“ ain’t ya mate. “ Ben snipped back.

“ Definitely not. “ Callum whispered, against Ben’s lips and kissed him. They had bit of a snogging session on the sofa before ben was straddling Callum and lead to sex on the couch.

They both panted in sync with Ben half laying on his boyfriend still on the settee. Ben rested his arm against Callum’s flushed, sweaty chest and kissed him softly again.

“ Was Chris your first love then? With a bloke? “ Ben said it before he even thought about it.

“ Had few crushes but yeh - Chris was the first I loved. Then you came along. “

“ You are a dark horse. “ Ben murmured, joking.

“ I wouldn’t say that. “

“ I’m still guilty though. “ Ben started off, changing the topic. Callum waited for him to continue but he never did. Callum squeezed the part where’s a gap between the bottom rib and the hip. To encourage him to carry on talking. “ for looking through your stuff - “ Callum tensed and Ben mentally kicked himself for the wording. “ - personal belongings. “ ben changed the wording to the best suiting.

“ it’s fine Ben. Honestly, I just, i felt exposed that’s all. I’m sorry for upsetting ya. “

“ Like wise. “

Callum nuzzled his nose into the crook of Ben’s shoulder, cuddling himself into his boyfriend.

“ you cold or something?! “ Ben laughed at him.

“ yeh. “ Grumbled Callum.

“ Come on then loverboy - let’s keep you nice and warm again. “ Ben slid down Callum’s body.

“ Just another excuse for sex. “ Callum smirked, his fingers gripping Ben’s sweaty hair.

“ Hmm - of course. We need to build up our energy levels don’t we! “

“ why? “

“ gonna play fifa and have a takeaway. “ Ben casually said whilst sucking Callum off.

Callum didn’t know how he could multitask. All thoughts went away when Ben did that thing to him and yeh -

The afternoon was very eventful.

Chapter Text

Ben has been thinking of marrying Callum for a while now, borderline 5 months to be precise. Ben wants to be a husband, wants to be a husband to Callum and Callum to be his husband. That is why he’s far away from Walford as possible, to not get seen looking at rings and not to ruin the surprise.

Ben stands in the shop where all the Male ring bands are, stuck standing there biting his thumb nail picking which one is the one for the both of them. Plain and simple but not too simple that it’s boring but unique enough to be special. So, not too much pressure then.

“ Sir? Could I ‘elp you? “ A woman steps aside him, a welcoming smile on her face.

Ben turns and looks ay her nervously. He doesn’t even know why he is nervous, maybe because this means so much to him. It needs to be the perfection of perfection.

“ I - Err Yeh i’m looking for a r-ring for my boyfriend. “ Ben stuttered out.

He can talk loudly about his sex life in public but can’t produce the sentence to another human about a ring.

The woman’s smile widened and looked genuinely interested. “ Oh how lovely. “ she walked to the Male rings displayed and Ben followed. “ We have a wide selection of Male rings. Is there a particular ring you’re looking for?”

“ simple but not boring. “

The woman nodded her head, seeming to know which one will be to Ben’s liking. She got out a brown leather box and opened the lid to revel a dark grey band. It had a small thin line running in the middle and it was shiny.

Ben’s eyes immediately widened and he knew that was the one. “ Would you engrave them? “

“ certainly. “ She approved. “ what would you like to be engraved? “

“ Mine & his. “

“ You can tell you really love him. “ The woman commented, without any nastiness to the words.

Ben blushed slightly, frowning.
“ how so? “

“ your face brightens up and seem the happiest man on earth. “

And maybe he is. He is finally happy.

-/-

“ Babe I’m ho-me! “ Ben cheerfully sang out as he closed the door to Callum’s flat. He put the bag of food onto the counter and frowned. The flat was quiet. No Lexi being loud and her usual loud self, no Callum singing. Strange.

Ben - You not home?

After a few minutes without a reply. Ben started to put away the food into the cupboards and fridge. Callum was meant to pick up Lexi ( and he’d obviously had or he or Lola would’ve got a call from the school ). So Callum must have a reason why they’re late.

20 minutes later Callum and Lexi come walking through the door. Callum huffing a bit and his cheeks were red. Ben strolls to him giving him a peck on the cheek and lips whilst helping him taking off his coat. Whilst Lexi takes hers off too.

“ You been runnin’? “ Ben suspicions are up.

Callum clears his dry throat. “ yeh I took Lex to park and lost track of time. Sorry. “

“ I wanted to play on the swings! “ Lexi shouts happily after Callum stops speaking.

Ben laughs fondly. “ Did ya? Did daddy Callum push ya high up? “ Callum watches them both affectionately.

“ My feet didn’t even touch the ground! Better than you dad! “

Ben fake gasps. “ My broken heart! “

Lexi laughs. “ Your heart isn’t broken dad! “

Ben grins at her and pick her up giving her a bear hug. “ You little rascal. “

Callum steps towards them both tucking the loose strange of hair behind her small ear. “ You ran away from daddy didn’t you? “

“ I was only playin’ “ Lex innocently smiled.

“ Me and dad will have to have the triple chocolate ice cream now won’t we? “ Callum teases.

“ No! Daddy! “

Callum nods, faking being strict.
“ There’s one thing you can do though. “

“ what!? “ Lexi replies, naively.

“ Gave me a massive cuddle! “ Callum says brightly opening his arms. Ben puts her down and Callum holds her, props her on his hip.

“ Muppets. “ Ben jokes.

“ but we’re your muppets though. “ Callum says fondly. Ben’s face softens even more and pecks Callum on the side of the mouth. He presses a little kiss to Lexis head too.

“ Right come on then - you get changed, you don’t want to get hyperthermia. “ Ben instructs her and she frowns at him, not understanding.

Callum speaks just before Ben. “ you don’t want to turn into an ice cube do ya!? “ he tickles lexis neck as he says it.

Lexi shakes her head and walks into Callum’s and Ben’s bedroom, closing the door and getting changed.

Ben breathes out a sigh. “ You cooking? “

“ Of course, considering I’m the only one who can cook. “ Callum replies smugly, walking past Ben and getting the ingredients out for a Spaghetti Bolognese.

“ Err I have you know I can cook beans on toast. “

“ Oh my god how could I forget that? You should be on Masterchef Ben. You’re too good. “ Callum sarcastically says, putting up the mushrooms. Ben prods him in the side.

“ Cheeky you are. “

“ It’s the truth! “ Callum says innocently before nodding to the top cupboard. “ Could you get the Bolognese from the cupboard for me? “

Ben stops leaning against the counter to get the Bolognese and struggles to reach the handle.

“ You havin’ bit of trouble there? “ Callum smirks, looking at his struggling boyfriend.

Ben chokes out a laugh, offended. “ no. “ Callum makes a ‘ Yeh okay face ‘ and goes back to cutting up the extra tomatoes. Ben goes on his tip toes and only his finger tips can reach the glass jar.

“ this is actually painful. “ Callum comments, crossing his arms over his chest watching him. The half cut tomatoes now forgotten about on the cutting board.

Ben huffs faked annoyed. “ you’ve done that on purpose. “

Callum frowns. “ what? Put a jar into a cupboard? “

“ on the top one. “

“ Oh the irony! We must call the police and have me arrested for putting things into the top cupboard. “

Ben makes a quick move and tickles Callum’s sides. “ Your attitude is getting out of hand! “

Callum giggles. “ get off me shorty! “

“ Never! “

Lexi comes back into the room and frowns with a slight smile on her face. “ What you doing daddies? “

Ben pulls away from his boyfriend, slightly panting. “ Daddy Callum is making fun of daddies height! “

“ you are small dad. “ Lexi agrees.

“ See! “ A look of glee on Callum’s face. “ Even Lexi agrees with me! “

“ I feel so betrayed right now. “ Ben comments, faking wiping away a tear from his eye.

“ Oh it’s okay dad. “ Lexi says soothingly. She hugs her dad’s waist. “ it’s alright to be small. “

Ben makes a hum in the back of his throat stroking his daughters hair. “ I’ll live. “

“ we could get you a ladder or a step box for you Ben. “ Callum comforts him. “ everything has a conclusion. “

Ben turns to him, pointing a not threatening finger at him. “ you get me either one of those things you’ll regret it. “

Callum laughs at the banter.
“ I’ll best carrying on with the tea then. “

Lexi looks up at Ben. “ could we play on the x-box? “

“ Of course sweetheart. “

Ben sets up the x-box for Lexi and when she’s sorted. He sits down on the sofa relaxing. This is what he wants forever, Callum cooking, Lexi playing on the x-box and maybe have a few babies along the way. Ben wants their forever, he never knew he would be so domestic. He always thought he’ll be the one Mitchell who would be unsettled, lonely and only finding comfort in one night flings. But now, he has a boyfriend ( soon to be husband if Callum says yes. Ben hopes Callum will say yes ), a beautiful intelligent daughter and a happy life with a successful business.

Only, he doesn’t know when to propose to Calum. He needs to get the ring too. Everything will fall into place.

-/-

“ Why are we here dad? “ Lexi requires, looking up at him still holding his hand as they walk into the engagement shop.

“ dad is going to propose to daddy. “ Ben tells her softly, internally panicking because Would Lexi be okay with that?

Lexi gasps excitedly. “ When? When! “

“ when the time is right sweetheart. “ Ben tucks her blonde hair behind her ear.

“ Can I be there?! “

“ of course sweetheart. “ Ben promises.

“ ah hello. “ The same lady returns to the glass desk who served Ben the other week. “ Are you ready to collect your rings? “ Ben smiles, nodding his head. The staff worker goes to collect the ring. Ben and Lexi have a little look around waiting for her to come back.

The rings are beautiful. Ben can’t believe a band can look so angelic. “ Dad they’re amazing! “ she lets out, shocked.

“ Should be for that price. “ Ben mutters, but he has a smile on his face. He always does now and he secretly loves it.

When Ben and Lex are walking out of the shop with the bag tightly in his hold Lexi looks up at him. “ When are you going to propose dad? “

“ Tomorrow. “ nerves traveling up his spine.

“ Could we get a happy meal to celebrate? “

Ben chuckles. “ of course. “

-/-

“ Thank you so much. “

Callum caught the end of Ben’s conversation on the phone. “ One of your dodgy deals?” Callum assumes, sliding his hands around his boyfriends waist also propping his chin on top of his head.

Ben smiles naturally kissing Callum’s jaw. “ Nope. “

Callum fake gasps. “ A change.”

“ I’ve actually booked you, me and lex a table tomorrow in a restaurant. “ Ben explains, turning around in Callum’s embrace looking up at him.

“ What’s brought us the pleasure? “ Callum murmurs.

Ben shrugged, the smile still plastered on his face. “ I wanted to treat my family didn’t I? “

“ I love you so much Ben Mitchell. “ Callum pecked him on the lips before pressing deeper and they kissed hungrily.

“ And by the way -“ Ben pushed back in to kiss Callum repeatedly. “ - I love you so much too Callum Highway -“ he told him, full of love.

Callum pushed Ben against the counter and basically leaning his body against his boyfriends. They kissed for ages till their lips were red and swollen.

“ Why you back here anyway? “ Ben required curiously, pulling their lips away.

“ not happy for me to be here? “ Callum faked disappointed.

“ No have course I am. Just wondering. “

“ It’s my lunch break init? I wanted to see a certain someone too. “ Callum grinned.

“ How long you got? “

“ till 1. “

Ben hummed happily. “ We’ve got enough time. “ he dragged Callum into the bedroom.

-:-

Ben brushed down his browny red shirt and let out a deep sigh. This is the night where everything changes. The brown leather small box sitting comfortably in his suit matching trousers. He puts on his blazer and checks the time, half an hour before they have to leave.

“ wow. “ Callum looks speechless. “ You look - amazing. “

A grin appears on his face. “ you don’t look so bad yourself. “ he neatly does Callum’s tie and fixes Callum’s own navy suit blazer.

“ Where’s the little drama queen? “

“ I’m lookin’ at him. “

Ben playfully slapped Callum’s arm who faked hurt. “ Lexi. “

“ She’s sorting out her hair. “ Callum informed him. “ You can tell she’s yours. “

“ Perfection takes time. “

“ shouldn’t it come naturally? “

“ shut up Callum. “

-/-

“ Ben how are you affording this? “ Callum said in hushed tones, slightly leaning over whilst being mindful of the candles.

“ Well I had a deal didn’t I? “ Ben replied, like it was obvious.

“ Shouldn’t you be saving -“

“ Cal, I love you very much yeh? But please don’t start sounding like Kathy. “

Noted.

“ Dad this is a massive place! “ Lexi spoke, slightly louder than a whisper. “ It’s like the dragons! Dark with fire to use as light! “

“ And Callum’s the goblin! “ Ben cheekily added. Callum kicked Ben’s ankle under the table.

“ And What does that make you? “ Callum asked him, cocking an eyebrow.

Ben fakes thinking. “ That makes me a prince. “

“ aren’t they meant to be tall? “ Lexi genuinely seemed confused. Whilst Callum choked out a laugh at Ben’s not impressed face.

“ don’t worry Ben. I’ll buy ya some shoes with a higher soul on. “

“ I actually want to kill ya. “

“ no you don’t. “ Callum smiled innocently.

Ben shared the affectionate look. He nearly forgot he has a box in his pocket and he’s afraid of forgetting to propose to him.
Actually he can’t even feel the box anymore. Ben’s face changes to panic and starts patting down his pockets till he feels it and lets out a breath of relief. Only, Lexi and Callum are watching him confused.

“ You losing the plot or somethin’? “ Callum plainly said.

Ben shook his head, sliding his hand across the table and holding his soon to be husband or fiancée.

“ Thought I forgot my wallet. “

“ ah. “

They reluctantly pulled away when the food was served. Lexi put her colouring book next to her and started eating her chicken nuggets and chips. Callum started into his steak, chips and salad. Only, Ben couldn’t. He was too nervous, he didn’t know when to propose to Callum. Would it be now? During their dinner or afterwards?

Ben internally shook his head and started to eat his meal too. Just relax. It’ll come naturally.

Lexi could tell her dad’s anxiety. So, she helped him along.

“ daddy? “ Lexi asked Callum.

“ yeh princess? “ Callum replied, still chewing on the meat.

“ have you ever thought of marrying Dad? “ Lexi bluntly asked him. Ben’s eyes widened not expecting her to ask that, but the look she gave him made him proud. Their daughter is too clever for her age.

Callum rested the knife and fork down onto the half eaten plate of food. He wiped his mouth with a napkin. “ Yeh. All the time. “

Ben’s heart did a summer-salt.

“ When would you like to marry him? “ Lexi asked, as well as eating her chips.

“ I’ll marry him right now if that was even possible. “ Callum truthfully replied. Ben sat frozen, Callum felt the same. Both of them wanted to marry each other. He can’t believe it.

Lexi kicked Ben’s leg to egg him on with the proposal. Ben cleared his throat feeling like he was about to collapse from the nerves but when he saw Callum’s cute little confused face as he slid of the seat and went on one knee. Everything faded away, like it was only them three in the whole restaurant.

“ B-Ben - What you doin’? “ Callum stuttered out, noticing the room falling silent. Everybody’s eyes solely on them.

Ben took a deep breath. Lexi had a massive grin on her face and Callum looked like he was about to cry from so many positive and overwhelmed emotions.

“ I’ve been wanting to marry you for so long Cal. “ Ben started off shakily. “ I always thought I was the mess up of the family, the odd one out who could never love or be loved by anybody. But, you Callum Highway, came into my life and made me want to change. You made me fall in love again, you accept Lexi as your own. You are everything I want, need and you are just my other half. “ Ben watery smiled, tears falling down his cheeks. He gripped the ring tighter in his fingers. “ What I’m tryna say is - will you marry me Callum Highway? “

Callum wiped away his own tears. “ Yes! Yes of course I will you muppet! “ He choked out. Ben’s smile widened and could lighten up the whole universe. He slid the ring onto Callum’s finger as the whole restaurant clapped and whistled to celebrate them both. Lexi was jumping from excitement. Ben and Callum kissed before hugging each other and never wanting to let go.

“ For the married to be couple! “ A female staff member smiled as she handled them both a bottle of champagne on the the house.

As everything quieted down, Callum let out a shaky breath still in utter shock. “ I can’t believe it - cant believe we’re gonna be married. “ he let out but had a smile plastered on his face.

“ Well you’re gonna be tied down with us forever now. “ Ben grinned, squeezing Callum’s hand. Their wedding rings glistening in the candlelight room.

“ I can’t wait. “ and he meant it. He really did.

/:/

 

“ I now pronounce you both Husband and Husband! “

Callum lunged for Ben’s lips. They hungrily kissed as the whole square and Mitchell’s and Stuart clapped and whistled. Lexi clapping with contentment, Lola wiping away a tear and maybe Jay who coughed making out he wasn’t crying from how happy and proud he is.

They have finally fought their demons and are together forever. The best thing Ben and Callum ever did was admit who they were because- they wouldn’t have had this otherwise.

Happiness.
Love.
Amazing sex.
A family.
A soulmate.

Chapter Text

“ ‘ello Callum. “ Kathy smiled, warmly. She held up her own mug to make a point. “ You want a drink love? “

“ Err I’ll have a tea thanks. “ Replied Callum, giving him a small smile. He stood awkwardly for a short moment before nodding towards the living room. “ Lexi through there is she? “

She let a little chuckle. “ has been all mornin’ love. “

Callum shot another smile and walked into the living room where he was hit in the face with fake spider webs.

“ Flippin’ heck. “ He gasped and the room was filled with giggles of laughter.

“ It’s fake Callum! “ Lexi laughed at him, running to him and giving him a hug. Her small arms wrapping around his waist.

“ You’ve been busy haven’t ya? “ Callum guessed, stroking her head looking around the messy room. It has lots of Halloween decorations with big and small black spiders, ghosts, witches and the lot.

Lexi pulled away from him walking over to the filled table and getting a Halloween book.
“ Daddy read this to me he did - he did all the characters really good! “

“ Did he? “ Callum says. “ He does have that dark vibe about him. “ he joked.

Lexi faked gasped. “ Callum! “ She lets out the two syllables. “

Callum fakes surrender. “ We don’t want Ben the Creep Reaper to get Do we? “

Lexi laughs, gulliblbely. “ no. “
Callum grins and tickles her cheek.

Kathy then walks into the living room and immediately smiles at them both bonding. She has accepted Callum the first time she met him. She knew Callum was a good lad, very respectful and sincerely and even sees him as one of her own.
She adores seeing Callum and Lexi building a Father and Daughter relationship.

“ here you go love. “ Kathy smiles casually, placing the large mug onto the tea mat.

“ Thanks Kathy. “

“ Callum? “ Lexi pauses waiting for Callum to look at her curiously. “ Can you dress up as a ghost? The costume doesn’t fit on daddy. “ she said disappointed.

Callum’s eyebrows borrow. “ Why doesn’t it fit on him? “

Kathy giggles and both of them face her. “ He’s too short. The costume is like a tent on ‘him. “

“ Bet he wouldn’t be too pleased hearing you pick on his height. “ Callum chuckled.

“ He’s as small as a dwarf! “ Lexi exclaimed.

“ We should get a gnome with Ben’s name on it? Put it outside and have it say ‘ Ben Mitchell ‘. “ Callum suggested, a massive grin showing.

“ He would probably go ape! “ Kathy huffed out a laugh.

“ So can you Callum? “ Lexi asked, impatiently. “ Dress up as a ghost!?”

“ yeh of course. “ He said, in honesty. Lexi beamed and ran to get the costume and gave it to him.

“ I’ve got make up too for your face! “

“ What? My face isn’t pretty enough as it is? “ he joked.

“ no. “

“ charming Lex. “ Callum faked offended and shot Kathy a non threatening stare. He went to the bathroom and got changed into the costume.

Kathy looked at her granddaughter, still holding the mug of tea. “ Lex, you know that was rude of you. “

The little girl looked down. “ it was a joke. “

“ I know sweetheart , but you sometimes need to reconsider what you’re about to say. “ Kathy smiled at her, a little patronising. She squeezed her shoulder before walking back into the kitchen to do some cleaning up. Lexi didn’t understand what Kathy meant by ‘reconsider ‘ but she knew by the tone what she said was wrong.

“ This Alright then Lex? “ Callum gestured to the white costume draped over his body. All you could see is his eyes and feet.

( the arms of the costume went over his limbs to move about in ).

“ I’m sorry Callum for what I said. “ Lexi apologised, genuinely sounding so upset.
Callum walked over to her and crouched down to her eye level.

“ hey it’s alright, you’ve got nothin’ to be sorry for. “

“ but nanny said I should re-consider what I say. “ Lexi vulnerability said.

Callum frowned slightly, not knowing why Kathy told Lexi that. “ I know you were joking Lex. There’s nothing to be sorry ‘bout. Okay? “ he smiled, trying to encourage the girl to be happy again.

She smiled weakly at the older bloke. “ You look silly like that. “

He chuckled. “ Bet I look better than daddy Ben don’t I? “

“ Even better. “ She said softly. She wrapped her arms around his neck and hugged him. He pulled her up and placed her on his hip.

“ Should we see daddy at The Arches then? Give him a bit of a surprise? “ Callum suggested, cocking an eyebrow with a honest smile on his face. He loves Lexi, he really sees her as his own child.

“ Yeh! “
Callum laughed at her enthusiasm.

-/-

Callum pressed his finger against his lips to silence Lexi. Ben was working on an engine, he was fully concentrated and focused on his task. That’s why he didn’t notice nor hear the two of them walking in.

Callum left Lexi by one of the cars silently telling her to stay put. He sneaked up to his boyfriend and pinched Ben’s bum. Who let out a loud yelp and flung backwards with a jump. He banged his head on the lid of the car door thing.

“ Fuckin’ hell!! “ Ben shouted, from the shock and pain. He turned to face Callum and jumped again.

Ah. Callum was wearing the ghost costume that he forgot he was wearing.

“ What you think’ doin’ ! “ Ben gasped out. Lexi giggled at her dad’s reaction.

“ I wanted to surprise ya! “ Callum defended himself. “ but who knew the tough man Ben Mitchell would Yelp like a girl!!! “ he barked out a laugh, bending forward. Lexi was laughing too.

“ Dad! You should’ve seen your face! “

Ben flushed like a tomato.
“ I didn’t hear ya. “

“ Your face! “ Callum laughed harder.

Ben couldn’t help but feel the tug at his lips and crossed his arms over his chest. The screwdriver still tightly in his hand.

“ Muppets. “ he grumbled, but he honestly loved seeing his boyfriend and daughter getting along. Calum and Lexi calmed down and he pressed a kiss to Ben’s lips and hugged him. He wrapped an arm around his waist and brought his other arm out for Lexi to join in the hug also.

“ Lex told us this was too big on ya. “ Callum was delighted in telling Ben this. Who blushed further with embarrassment.

“ mum didn’t tell ya did she? “ Ben looked pained.

“ oh yeh she did. How this was too big on ya because your a shortie! “

“ I want the world to swallow me up! “

“ dad that’s impossible. “ Lexi commented.

“ Don’t worry lex. The world is too big for our little Ben. “ Callum smiled cheekily, patting his boyfriends head. Who grumbled and prodded Callum’s rib.

“ Your gonna regret saying that! “

“ Me too. “ Callum agreed. But he didn’t care.

All three of them laughed together by a broken car feeling this is the most normal In a while.

Chapter Text

Now Ben and Callum have been married for 3 years and within those 2 years they both wanted kids. They wanted to try adoption first, for the same reasons actually.

To give that children a home, a warm loving household that is nothing like their childhood. At first, it was difficult with Ben’s track record. When the woman told Ben that it may be near impossible for them to adopt a child because of him. He cried, when they got back their house in Walford. He sobbed like he just found out his dog died.

He felt he ruined everything, because of past mistakes. He felt dreadful. Till the manger gave him a second chance. Callum obviously was there to support his husband and so was Lexi. She could tell her daddy was upset about something and she knew that he made mistakes ( “ I just made some terrible mistakes sweetheart, when I was younger “ ).

When the adoption letters came through Ben cried again. They could have a kid, they could actually start making a family of their own. Only, because of Callum’s clean track record they were more pleased and they told Ben that social services would come to their house. To check everything, Ben wanted to throttle her. He felt like he was a monster, having to have people access him when he was home with his husband and their child? But he agreed, he couldn’t stop this for Callum. He’ll do anything for him.

It’d taken 6 months for everything to finally work out. Ben and Callum felt terrible that they had to go to an orphanage and see which individual they liked best. It felt like they were picking out a dog.

But, 3 toddlers tugged at their heart strings. Two boys and a girl. The 3 children were a gift made from heaven, they were so sweet and cute and god Callum wanted to bring them home there and then.

With loads of visits. Loads of chats. Social workers. Letters and signatures.

They finally brought them home. Ben and Callum remembered everything they liked and disliked. So, they put the two boys in a bedroom with bunk beds. The walls were scattered with astronauts and dinosaurs, Callum joked saying the dinosaurs were chasing after the astronaut. The two boys laughed and it was the best thing. Ben brought them a present, a astronaut Lego set. But the woman who accesses everything disapproved. She told him that he can’t buy their love and Ben was offended.

The girl was a daddies girl, she took a liking to Callum. It seemed she was already fond of him. Lexi got on with all 3 of them.

It was made to be.

Lexi loved the concept of a little sister and 2 younger brothers. The little girl slept in Lexie’s room. Ben and Callum spilt the bedroom into two, with one half ( of the largish room ) being the little girls. She loved princess and football just like Lexi. Whilst Lexi kept her side of the room.

But now all that stress and problems didn’t matter anymore. Not when all their children were asleep. Ben and Callum kissed every one of them goodnight. This felt right, normal. They never thought in a billion years they would have this. But, they’ve made it.

They’ve finally made it to the happy place and they can’t wait to expand their little family. With pets also.

Chapter Text

Ben walked into the funeral parlour and found it empty. Till he hears the sound of writing and follows the sound till he sees the sight of Callum writing in his office.

“ alright? “ Ben supposes, leaning against the doorframe, arms crossed over his chest and ankles crossed.

Callum briefly looks at him, a look of annoyance and confusion evident. “ Yeh fine. “ he puts the finished piece of work into a brown envelope and seals it closed. Ben watches him work on another work load and feels quite offended that Callum is blanking him.

Okay, maybe he has a reason too.

“ Been busy ‘ere then? “ Ben comes up with another reply. It feels dead and awkward. He’s never the awkward person but when Callum is involved - he gets all flustered.

“ Signing dead people off and sending them away. You know the usual. “ Callum casually states out, still not making any attempt to be sociable around Ben.

He huffs, frustrated. “ Cal stop blanking me will ya. “

“ I ain’t doin’ nowt. “

“ You’re being cold with me. “ Ben says quietly. He hates it.

Callum drops his pen onto the half finished work and leans back against the desk chair. Ben notices Callum has a new suit - a very dark blue suit. It brings out the blue in his eyes, how it highlights his pale skin.

Callum looks fucking amazing.

“ And you want me to tell you why? No? “ Callum tilts is head, this new confidence about him startles Ben.

“ I’m Sorry. “

“ Likewise. “

“ I never meant to ‘urt ya. “

“ did a good job on that didn’t you Ben? “

Ben huffs out another breath and rubs his forehead. A headache becoming to form, he isn’t good with talking that much. But he’s trying to be better.

“ I - I let my insecurities get in the way. “

“ and that makes it okay? “

“ No. well -“ Callum gives him a look. “ No. “ firmly replied Ben.

Callum sighs, tired of this between them both. “ I’m tired. “

Ben swoops in quickly when there’s a second silence. “ Go to sleep then. “

“ I’m tired of this -“ he gestured between them both. He had the audacity to look casual about it too which also hurt and pissed Ben off.

He’s really blown it this time hasn’t he? The one time of happiness and he fucks it up.

“ Don’t say that. “ Ben quietly pleads, steps forward with his fingers dancing on the edge of the opposite seat.

“ It’s true. I’m too tired of this Ben between us. We’re too intense with each other, when we’re angry or upset we lash out with each other. It ain’t healthy. “

“ But doesn’t the good out weigh the bad? “ Ben felt tears in his eyes, his heart slowly dying hearing how defeated Callum is.

“ In most cases yeh but Ben - maybe we ain’t meant to be. “ Callum starts, his expression changing to sad. All Ben wants is to cup his jaw and tell him everything will be alright. “ Everything you said was true. Maybe we were just too lonely and found comfort and company in each other. “

Ben firmly shook his head, letting the separate tears fall down his cheeks. “ no don’t - everything I said was wrong Cal. I was just - just tryna push ya away! “

“ and that’s the point Ben. We push each other away and it’s tirin’. “ Callum half whines.

Ben strolls to the side of the desk taking in Callum’s hand and holding onto them like a life line. His eyes are pleading.

“ p-please don’t do this Callum - please just - just don’t write us off. “

Callum inter-whines their fingers and squeezes Ben’s hand. Highway has a sad look on his face and his eyes have lost their usual lightness.

“ I need too. We need to just - be friends or just strangers. We cant keep going on like this. “
Callum looses his grip and slides his hands out of Ben’s. Who stares at him in devastation. Ben slowly gets up and walks out. Both men feeling their hearts shattering.

-:-

Jay slides into the seat next to Ben in The Queen Vic. He eyes up the several glasses of beer and whiskey. Jay looks at Ben who looks like he’s been told he’s dying tomorrow.

“ What’s up with you? “ Jay requires, curiously.

“ You. “ Ben half slurs. “ be’cos of you I’ve lost the love of me’ life’. “

Jay frowns. “ Who? Callum? “

“ who’ else Jay? “ Ben grumbles, taking a large gulp of whiskey not wincing from the strong after taste down his throat.

“ Well talk to him then. “

Ben barks out a bitter laugh. “ don’t you think I haven’t already done that? “ he lets his head fall against the wooden barrier of the seats. “ he hates me. “

“ I’m sure he doesn’t, aren’t cha being a bit dramatic? “

“ From the way he looked at me. I could tell I lost ‘him. “

Jay went into professional mode, listening intensely like how he’ll deal with grieving widows. “ how did he look at ya? “

“ Like I was a stranger. “ Ben tells him, deep in his throat, heartbroken.

“ well win him back. “

“ Its too late. “

“ You’re Ben Mitchell. You never go down without a fight. “

Ben sighed deeply. “ he don’t want me no more. “ he takes a last gulp full of his whiskey standing up from the table. “ Hope your snide comments were worth it jay. “ he bitterly tells him, through gritted teeth. He hard slaps jay on the shoulder and sulks off.

Jay closes his eyes in guilt.
All this is his fault.

-/-

Ben slumps onto his back when he wakes up in his slumber. The alcohol he consumed yesterday is mocking him today. For one thing, he’s glad he is deaf because he can’t hear anything and that helps his banging headache.

Yesterday was a disaster. He knew he’s fucked up with his relationship with Callum but he didn’t know it was that bad. But one thing jay was right about was - Ben Mitchell never goes down without a fight. He is determined to fight for Callum.

Ben’s got a plan and it will be successful.

-/-

Ben - meet me at mine, 18:00. Do not be late!

Ben breathed out a nervous breath. He looked at the displayed table and felt this weird feeling go over him.

Ben has cooked. He has actually cooked a meal that hasn’t gone to shit. Steak and chips. The absolute classic, with beers and 2 candles sitting in the middle of the table. Where a deep red cloth lays in the middle. Ben has even gone to the trouble of buying rose petals and scattering them on the table. Oh no not the original red rose colour but the light pink one.

Ben is really pushing out all the stops okay?!

Ben brushes down his most smart shirt and takes a swig of his beer to calm his nerves. He wants to show Callum that he is deadly serious about them. He doesn’t want Callum thinking he’s just after the sex ( one of the reasons but not the main one ).

Ben jumps a little bit at the knock against the back door. He checks the time and it is only 10 minutes to 6, Callum’s early. Must be good then?

Ben smiles at him, genuinely happy to see the other man standing there. “ Your early. “

“ is that okay? You want me to come back in 10 minutes time or something? “ Callum replies, a bit grumpy.

Ben shakes his head, steps aside letting the other man in. He is still wearing that beautiful tight fitted suit. Ben knows that Callum is allowed to be a bit grumpy because 1, when Callum hasn’t eaten anything in a long time he gets a bit snappy. Number 2, Ben was a bit of an arsehole to him when they tried the 2nd date and finally number 3, Callum has his ‘walls’ protecting him and is being dismissive. The same like Ben.

What a match.

Ben guides Callum into the living room and Callum immediately looks taken aback. The room is in a dark casted glow, the table looks beautiful in its poor lighting. It is romantic, he never knew Ben had it in him.

Ben can tell Callum is impressed which boots his confidence levels. “ I’ve cooked as well! “

Callum turns to him, eyebrows raised. “ really? “

Ben hums. “ sit down and I’ll get them plated. “

Callum does as he’s told. He hears Ben clattering and banging before finally smelling the scent of steak and chips.

“ cooked it how you like it! “

“ what’s all this in aid of then? “ Callum requires curiously, gesturing to the table and Ben’s smart clothes.

“ I wanted to show ya your wrong. “ Ben starts off, hoping Callum won’t go off on him. “ We can really be a couple, if we both put the work in. “

Calum’s face falls, apprehensive. “ Ben -“

“ No don’t - “ Ben takes Callum’s hand beside him. He has to lean over a tad because he’s short. “ - I like ya, I really do Callum. I want us to make a go of this. “ Ben desperately says. “ if you feel the same? “ the confidence slowly filters.

“ of course I do, you muppet. “
Callum tells him quietly, a fond sense going over him.

“ We Have a bond Callum. We get on, Yeh we sometimes have arguments but you and me - we’re made for each other. “

“ I just - I don’t want any more hassle. “ Callum confesses, stroking Ben’s hand in the process. “ I don’t want us pushing each other away no more. I’m sick of it. “

Ben nods, understanding. “ me too. But we can learn to communicate more. “

“ We’re already good at that. In the bedroom. “ Callum’s muscles twitch and his lips upturn into a massive grin.

Ben fake gasps. “ Callum Highway! I’m meant to be the dirty one! “

“ And now you’ve got me. “

Ben grins, makes a small huff in his throat and looks at his Callum through his eye lashes.

“ I do have you. “

They both lean in and kiss each other softly on the lips and Callum’s stomach wrecks the moment with a massive grumble.

“ I’m stavin’. “

“ always are aren’t cha? “

“ Starvin’ for some Ben Mitchell. “ Callum snipes back and doesn’t let Ben make a comment. “ I’m gonna eat you out after as desert. “ Callum says casually, like he’s told Ben he’s going to the shops after. He pops a chick into his mouth, smirking like a Cheshire Cat at Ben’s stunned expression.

“ I never - I don’t think -“

Callum places his hand under Ben’s chin and closes his mouth. “ You know you only need to keep your mouth open for when I’m coming into ya. “

Ben has lost the ability to speak.

Callum tilts his head, absolutely loving to make Ben stunned to the core with his unexpected dirtiness. He holds a chip and looks at him.

“ Come on eat up! “ Callum tells him, eyeing up the uneaten steak and chips on Ben’s now Lukewarm plate.

“ I never knew - you would be so dirty. “

Callum shrugged, a glint in his eye. “ A mystery man I am. “

Ben laughs. “ oh I love you Callum Highway. “

“ me too. “

And suddenly the atmosphere came too suffocating with the seriousness of their words.

“ You mean that? “ Ben suspects, nearly not believing him.

“ of course I do. “ like Ben was stupid. “ I love everything ‘bout ya Ben. “

“ Same here. “

“ how Veins that!! “

“ I meant I love everything about you two! “

Callum scoffs. “ bet ya did. “

Ben pokes him in the ribs. This little date, he never thought it would turn out so positive.

“ Come on eat up halfway. “ Ben orders him, without any heat - well the only heat is lust. “ We need to build up our energy levels don’t we. “

“ yeh for me to do all the work! “

“ and we’re gonna have some sexy time. “

“ genuinely can’t believe you just said that. “

“ you love my one liners. “

“ I do Halfway. “

“ oh wow. “

-/-

“ Have you been practicing without me? “ Ben gasps out, panting.

“ I might’ve done. “ Callum grins, breathing through his nose to get the oxygen levels to normal.

“ Well I’m impressed. “

“ I’m so happy we’re going to do this. “ Callum changed the topic, meaning their relationship.

“ What? Sex? Me too loverboy. “ Ben grinned, turning onto his side and laying against Callum.

“ no you muppet. You and me - boyfriends. “

Ben looked up at him, narrowing his eyes a tiny bit. “ and that’s what you definitely want to be? Boyfriends? “

“ well it’ll be a bit hard if we were anything but boyfriends. “ Ben frowned at him. “ I’m gay aren’t I? So we kinda have to be boyfriends. “

“ what a lame joke. “ Ben affectionately shook his head.

“ you love it. “

“ I love the bloke but not the jokes. “

“ N’aw I’m offended. “

Ben kissed his sweaty chest. “ Kathy will love you. “

“ everyone loves me. I’m like a puppy. “

Ben snorts. Callum’s stomach rumbles again. “ you’ve just eaten! “

“ Yeh well I’m like - 5 foot 9 taller than ya! I need loads of food to give me energy! “

“ If that’s a dig at my height. “ Ben threatens.

“ No never. “

“ good. “

“ it’s about your weight. “

“ Callum! “

Callum wrapped his arms around Ben’s waist and kissed him deeply. “ I’m joking! You are beautiful. “

“ Hmm. You might have to show me how beautiful I am then. “

Callum made a cheeky face and slid down Ben’s body, whilst supplying a load of wet kisses along the way.

Chapter Text

“ James?!! “ Ben called after his son who practically flew into the house and up the stairs to his room. Ben winced from the loud bang of the door. He turned down the heat on the pans and crept up the stairs, he softly knocked against his son’s bedroom door respectively.

“ Go away! “ James choked out. Ben felt his face harden, his son crying in his bedroom after school.

Whoever has upset his son will pay for it.

Ben sighed softly, composing himself. If he goes all gun ‘n’ blazing he won’t get anywhere. “ right I’ll leave you for now but I’ll be coming back to give you your tea and you can speak to me or cal about the problem. Yeh? “

“ yeh fine. “ James’s voice hitched. Ben had to force himself to walk away from his son but he had to respect his son’s privacy and let him compose himself.

Ben walked down the stairs and got out his phone to text his husband.

Ben - James is upset, ran up the stairs in tears. Come home soon x

Ben placed the phone onto the white counter and started to plate up the food for Lexi, Abbie ( In her memory, he always has a bit of her in his heart ), James and Charlie.

“ Teas ready! “ and all of them expect for James. Ben’s worries instantly increased, James is a sociable person. He always comes down the stairs with his sisters and brothers. Now he hasn’t? Ben wants to kill the person who’s brought distress upon his little boy ( considering he’s 16, James will always be Ben’s and Callum’s little lad who walked into walls because he needed glasses ).

“ daddy where’s J’ames? “ Abbie murmured into her peas.

“ James’s just feeling unwell darlin’. “ Ben spoke softly, putting her loose strands of hair behind her ear.

“ Will the rest of us be infected now? “ Charlie asked and Ben choked out a laugh because of casual he sounded.

“ No Charlie, we won’t be infected. “ Ben bluntly said. “ But you will be if you don’t eat those carrots! “ he grinned, putting some enthusiasm into his words.

“ but I hate carrots! “

“ and they make you big and strong! “

“ thoughts that’s for peas? “ Abbie corrected, confused.

Ben mentally kicked himself, he’s getting caught up in his own web of lies. Trying to get the children to eat their vegetables.

“ and it’s for carrots too. “

“ But Daddy you said carrots make you see in the dark. Your still blind becos your wearing glasses. “

Ben stared at them 3, who blinked at him. “ just eat your food yeh. “ he still smiled though. Bitterly. “ I’m gonna take this up for James and when I come back down I expect all of you to’ve eaten your food. “ Ben gets the plate and makes his way out of the kitchen till he stops after Charlie calls him.

“ When’s Daddy Callum coming!? “

“ Soon, I miss him as much as you. “

Ben knocks against James’s door and when he calls ‘yeh’ he walks in. “ we missed you down there. It ain’t the same without your cheekiness. “ Ben informed him, using some sort of guilt trip care. When he only just wants to understand what’s happened.

After Ben puts James dinner on the beside table he sits on the bed. James doesn’t move, barley even looks at his dad.

“ please tell me what’s wrong. “

“ You’ll only kill them. “

Well he ain’t wrong.

“ Only becos i love ya James. “

He sighs. “ I’ll tell dad. “

Ben nods his head, it doesn’t hurt as much anymore when James prefers ( sometimes) to speak to Callum. Ben learnt that Callum knows what to say and has a bit of a wider, wiser ways of words. But James told Ben isn’t second best, both of his dads have their strengths and weaknesses.

“ Good, we only want to help ya. “ Ben softly tells him. “ And you know I’m here too. “

James finally looks up and weakly smiles. “ I know dad. “
Ben reflects the same smile as James and leans over to hug his son.

“ And this gives you no excuse to not eat your vegetables! “ Ben jokes when they pulled away, feeling his chest contract when James smiled and huffed out a laugh.

“ can I have some chocolate ice cream after this too? “ James cheekily asks.

“ hmm go on then. But don’t push it! “ Mitchell gets up from the bed and walks to the door. “ Your just like your dad you are. “

“ Yeh because he loves comic books unlike you! “ James defends, his dad’s always manage to make himself feel better.

“ Because I ain’t a geek! “

“ No, but say that to your country music. “

“ I thought we‘re never going to mention my secret love of county music again? “

“ Think again. “

“ cheeky. “

-:-

When Ben enters the living room Lexi, Charlie and Abbie are all watching television with some different fruits in a bowl. They’re eating from. Ben hears movement from the kitchen. “ is dad home? “

“ yeh he came back a few minutes ago. “ Lexi answers him, none of them looking at Ben as he disappears into the kitchen.

“ well weren’t you quiet? “

Callum turns around from tidying the mess away and opens his arms to hug his husband.

“ I weren’t actually. The kids made a right din when I came back. “ Callum murmured into Ben’s hair. “ What’s wrong with James? “ he asks pulling away.

“ Came running in and straight for his bedroom, cryin’. “ Ben explained. “ Think he’s bein’ bullied. “

“ I ain’t visiting me husband in prison Ben. “

“ well someone’s upset our boy. “

Callum rested his hand on his arm and gently squeezed his limb. “ It’ll be okay, especially when he’s got us for parents. “

“ I hate seein’ him upset. “

“ I’ll talk to him. “ Callum promised, kissing Ben and going upstairs to talk to James.

Knock knock. “ James can I come in? “

“ ...yeh...”

“ How was school? “ Callum started off, wanting to circle around the topic first than diving in straight away.

James shrugged. “ It was alright. “

“ till? “ He prompted.

“ I - I’ve been -“ James struggled to speak, hating the inability to form words. Callum waited patiently, knowing from his own experiences how hard it can be to talk about what’s going on in your head. “ - I have feelings. “

“ What type of feelings? “

“ a crush? “ James mumbled, he doesn’t know why he’s embarrassed. It’s not like Ben and Callum are two homophobic parents is it?

“ I think I’m gay or b-bi. “ James confessed and it felt a tiny bit better having this weight lifted off him.

“ Have you always been sure or have these feelings made you realise that your gay or bisexual? “

James played with his own fingers. “ I always had an idea but never - never completely thought about it. “

“ How does that make you feel??”

James looked at his dad, not completely following. “ what being not straight? “

Callum shrugged. “ Either one. “

“ I don’t know. “ James admitted. “ I think - I think I’m Bi. “

“ yeh? “

James nervously nodded his head. “ Yeh, cos I - I like girls but I also like boys but - I like boys a little bit more. “ James confessed, but still looking a bit frizzled. “ Does that make me bad? “

Callum moved back so he was leaning against the wall as well. He wrapped his arm around his son’s shoulders to comfort him.

“ of course not, being Bi has nothing to worry about okay? It doesn’t matter if you like both, you still have all the time to discover or re-discover yeh? “

“ You know I said I had a crush on a - a boy. “

“ hmm. “ Callum hummed to know he was listening.

“ Well I tried to kiss him. “ James let the words out slowly. “ only - he pulled back and a few lads saw me and started calling me a puff. “

“ they what! “ Callum tried to keep his voice calm but it honestly was testing his patience.

“ They followed me ‘ome, picking on me - and I couldn’t do anything. They were laughin’ at me. “ James started to panic again. Callum trucked his son into his side even more and gently kissed his head.

“ They’re scum okay? You ain’t a puff or anything they say, cos you ain’t James. You don’t believe them do ya? “

James shook his head. “ no, because- I should be proud of who I am. You and dad taught me that. “

“ And you know me and ben will always stick by ya and we won’t ever judge you okay? We don’t care who your with, we only care if your happy. “

“ Thanks Dad. “ James smiled, nervously and awkwardly. They hugged and after a short while they parted.

“ Just one thing I gotta say. Don’t ever hide your feelings or bury who you are because- it wrecks ya. I ain’t just saying that, it will slowly kill you. “ Callum told him, his voice deepening with sadness and regret. “ don’t be like me or Ben. We want the best for you. “

James knew a little bit about his dad’s past and knew how hard it was for the both of them. So he knew when they told him about taking pride and being who you are. They’re not just saying it, they proper mean it.

“ love you dad. “

“ love you too kiddo. “

“ Dad mentioned ice cream. “

“ hmm did he now?? “

“ yeh, especially when I came in upset. Think I deserve a treat. “

“ You pulled my arm, you can have a bowl full okay? “

“ with some raspberries. “

“ With some chocolate syrup? “

“ and a cup of tea. “

“ anything else? “

“ a packet of crisps. “

“ you don’t want much do ya? “ Callum jokes.

“ No of course not. “ James smiles innocently.

Callum huffed out a chuckle and walked out, closing the door behind him. He walked down the stairs into the kitchen to get his son the items he wanted. Ben leant against the counter biting his thumb in nervous.

“ He Alright? “

Callum nodded, whilst getting the cup from the cupboard. “ he told me he might be bi or gay. “ he said in a quieter tone, not wanting their other children to hear. He didn’t want James getting more bother, especially if he’s been picked on at school.

“ and someone knew? “

“ Not as such. “ Callum turned to his husband after switching the kettle on. “ He’s got this crush on a boy & he tried kissin’ him. Only, the lad pulled away and some of the boys caught him. They followed James home callin’ him names. “

“ fucking scum. “ Ben growled.

“ I’ll go into the school tomorrow and sort it out. “ Callum reached over and rubbed Ben’s shoulder. When the kettle was boiled he poured the scolding water into the mug.

“ How can people just be - so nasty? “

“ because they haven’t been brought up properly and have had bad influences with social media blackening their minds. “ Callum spoke wisely.

“ I don’t want him having the worst time of discovering himself like us. “ Ben admitted, disappointed, not at James. He’ll never be disappointed in his boy.

“ I don’t think he would Ben. “ said Callum. “ he said we’ve learnt him to be proud of who we are and he knows snippets of our coming out stories. “ he explained, whilst putting scups of ice cream into the deep bowl. “ and anyway, he’s got us hasn’t he? “

Ben’s face softened, the sad look fading. Ben wrapped his arms around his husbands waist and kissed his shoulder. “ Yeh he has. “

“ I’ll best take this up for the royal highness anyway. “ Callum joked, holding the bowl and crisps in one hand and the other with the mug of tea. Doing it like pro.

“ He wants all that? “

“ yep. He said you agreed for him having some ice cream? “

“ yeh after being emotionally blackmailed. “

“ he’s played us. “

“ You can tell He’s your kid. “ Callum cheekily said.

“ oi he’s half yours too ya know! “ Ben defended. “ Both of our -“

“ yes okay Ben, don’t have to go into detail. “

“ Tell him I love him yeh? I’ll see him after and make sure I’m here too. “

“ I will do. “ Callum sincerely said.

-/-

The morning of the new day and James is shitting himself with nerves. He doesn’t want to face those boys again and face that lad he kissed but Ben and Callum told him it’s nothing to be ashamed off. He is bound to make some mistakes in life.

But when he went to school having Callum by his side everything was okay. Callum was calm and used his disapproving words to make the teacher sweat under the collar. Because Callum can take legal action against the boys and the school for not doing anything. Till, the head made the bullies to stop their behaviour.

School was school again. Boring.

Ben was proud. He kissed Callum on the cheek for sticking up for their boy ( and he obviously knows the reason why ). Callum has come a long way since hating himself.

James came out 3 months later. He’s bisexual and Ben and Callum did a pride party for him.

James never felt so accepted in his entire life. He has the best dads, siblings, home and life in the entire world.

Ben and Callum never felt so overwhelmed because their children are having the childhood they never had.

Chapter Text

Ben frowned slightly turning to his boyfriend who was watching the TV whilst drinking his cup of tea.

“ Callum? “

“ what? “ Callum’s gaze didn’t shift from the television.

“ Have you always had big ears? “

Callum frowned, turning slowly to Ben offended. “ You picking on my ‘ears for? “

“ I was just wondering. “

“ yeh they have. “ Callum answered, bluntly.

“ they remind me of an elephant. “

Callum launched for Ben tickling his sides and Ben burst into a bunch of giggles trying shove him off himself.

“ Cal-Callum - stop-“ Ben laughed breathlessly.

“ Why? You’re making fun of me! Again! “ Callum tickled Ben even more getting his point across.

“ Oh-Oh okay I’ll stop! “ Ben giggled again ( who knew Ben Mitchell would be giggling? ).

Callum stopped, the smile still in place when he pulled away from his lover. “ My ‘ears have done nowt to you. “

“ I know babe. “ Ben agreed, pressing his lips to Callum slipping a tongue between the teeth.

Callum pulled away from him, inches away and smirked with a twinkle in his eyes. “ And anyway you are the one to talk. “

“ How so? “

“ you’re small! “ Callum exclaimed, whilst Ben grumbled. “ You always look up to people!”

“ But my Ben isn’t small is it? “ Smirked Ben with the innuendo. He crawled to his boyfriend straddling his thighs and pressing different kisses to Callum’s neck.

“ Definitely not small. “ Callum moaned, consciously untying Ben’s belt and fly to get his cock out. Callum grabbed the swell and stroked it in a hard warming rhythm.

Ben breathed out. “ Fuckin’ hell cal that feels - “ he didn’t get the chance to finish his sentence when Callum tucked and gripped harder on his swollen dick.

Callum pulled away from him teasingly to torture him some more. “ Cal! Why you stop! “ Ben whined, the loss of touch when he so desperately needs it.

Callum shrugged, acting casual. “ Wanted to rail you up and then push you away when you’re in desperate need of a fuck. “

Ben groaned and moaned at the same time feeling his body seize up again. He is too horny, too horny for Callum and he needs Callum’s hands on him now.

“ Please Cal - please just -“

“ please What love? “ Callum answers, smugly. If Ben wasn’t thinking with his cock he would be impressed by Callum’s confidence.

“ -Just fuck me -“

“ fuck you how much? “

“ Till - Till I see stars. “ Ben sucked at Callum’s neck, whilst stroking his own cock.

Callum made a disapproving noise. He is having too much of a good time with tormenting his boyfriend. “ I don’t know now. I was tryna use those sex toys you wanted to use -“ Callum used the ‘disappointing ‘ voice. That caught Ben’s attention because he stopped and came face to face with him. “ but I’m still deeply offended about the ears problem. “

“ I’ll do anything babe. “ Ben told him, sounding too sincere. Just desperate to have sex, Callum proposed.

“ I’m going to take you down, piece by piece and ruin you. Then going build you up all over again. “

“ -fuckin’ hell -“ Ben moaned out. Ben thrives for the confident Callum, especially in the bedroom. The way Callum talks sexually nearly makes him cum.

Callum wetly snogged him before dragging him into the bedroom and pushing him on the bed. To carry on the kisses.

Ben loves Callum topping.

-/-

Ben was pretty sure he couldn’t think or speak. Callum really stuck to his word and fucked Ben slowly and carefully making him a whimpering mess.

Callum kissed his sweaty shoulder and locked their fingers together. “ you okay? “

Another thing Ben loves about Callum. He always makes sure he is okay straight after sex, just so considerate.

“ You are so - fucking amazin’ -“ Ben panted out, bloody exhausted.

Callum grinned. “ Not so bad yourself. “

“ how are you not tired? “

“ Because all this was for you. “ Callum simply answered. “ For teasing my ears! “

Ben huffed out a laugh. “ I was jokin’. “

“ I know babe, but I was deeply offended but now you know what happens when you pick on me. “ Callum kissed him again.

“ Well I think I should tease ya more then if I get that incredible sex. “ Ben commented impressed. Callum chuckled, kissing his sweaty forehead.

“ I enjoyed myself too - I think you should. “ replied Callum. “ You want me to get you anything? “

“ You. “

“ you’ve just had me for 3 hours! “

“ and I want you again now. “ Ben smiled innocently. Callum straddled Ben’s waist to press multiple of different kisses to Ben’s chest.

“ but first I’m gonna get you some food. You need keep your energy up! “

“ Go on then, elephant ears. “

Callum gently slapped Ben’s shoulder in return. “ Cheeky! “

“ That cheeky that I want more cock. “

And he did get some more for another few hours.

Chapter Text

Ben straddled Callum’s waist and rested his butt on Callum’s stomach as he traced the scars on Callum’s side and a few on his stomach.

“ Don’t think you ever told me how you got these. “ Ben commented, casually and seeming genuinely curious.

Callum shrugged, continuing to rub Ben’s left thigh. “ ’just never had the relevance to bring it up. “

“ till now. “ Ben replied.

“ They’re from the army. “

“ From a explosion? “

Callum nodded. “ You don’t have to talk about it, if you don’t want to Cal. “ Ben must’ve seen Callum’s face change to slightly uncomfortable.

“ I don’t mind tellin’ ya. “ replied Callum, unbothered. “ It’s just - hard to talk about sometimes. “

Ben nodded, completely understanding Callum’s struggle with the scars and the memories representing them.

“ I still have flashbacks from the shooting ya know? “ Ben confessed, still stroking the scar. “ It’s not as bad now, from the first few days. It’s nearly like it ever happened. “

Callum gave him a funny look.

Ben sighed. “ What I mean is, I forget about it, not dwell about me dyin’ and about to lose the ‘chance of seeing Lex growing up. “ he explained, a light lining of sadness viable. “ - Of missing the chance of being with you -“ he added, quieter.

“ I don’t think I would’ve coped you know. I would be like Chris all over again, me not tellin’ ya how I properly feel. “

“ but we’re here now. “ Ben smiled softly, using that soft voice when he said he remembered when Callum would agree to everything.
A natural smile forming on Cal’s face as he sat up straighter and pressed a gentle kiss to the scar on Ben’s chest.

“ It shows you survived. “ Callum murmured.

Ben held onto Callum’s love handles resting their foreheads together. “ You too. Even when we didn’t know each other - you came back to me. “

“ Fucking hell thats romantic. “ Callum chuckled, ruining the intimate moment.

“ We were having a moment then! “

“ We were having a moment yesterday!? “

“ You having a crisis about dropping Mrs Dubles -“

“ -Mrs Doopler -“ Callum corrected him.

“ Mrs Duble’s -“ Ben repeated the incorrect surname for the purpose of winding Callum up.
“ ashes all over ya isn’t a moment. “

“ The ashes went everywhere! “

“ yeh! You looked like you seen a ghost! “

“ fuck off Ben. “ Callum playfully nudged him.

“ I mean I can fuck off but I much prefer you fucking me off. “

Callum rolled his eyes. “ You have to turn everything dirty? “

“ It’s all part of being unique. “

“ Muppet. “

“ Plonker. “

Ben sat up and immediately fell on top of his boyfriend with a big huff. “ still fallin’ for me ay? “ Callum joked, his arms flat out under Ben.

“ My legs are dead. “ Ben winced.

“ Awh poor baby. “ Callum sarcastically said, pouring out his bottom lip.

Ben ignored his comment. “ Don’t think I’m moving any time soon. “

And then Callum groaned. “ I’m actually dyin’. Who knew someone so small can be so heavy? “

“ when I can move again your gonna have a slap. “

Chapter Text

Jonno scoffed, shaking his head in disbelief. “ Why would you not want to marry that tart for? “

“ Because I’m gay dad! “ Callum shouted in frustration. He actually said it, after 28yrs of burying who he is, after years of hating himself. He said it.

“ You What? “ Jonno let out, confused. “ Your my son, you ain’t a puff. “

Callum shook his head, livid. He walked in a small circle needing to move. The darkness covering them under the train bridge making it harder to see.

“ How are you this delusional? “ Callum let out, facing his twat of father. “ why can’t you just be ‘appy for me? “

“ Because no son of mine is a fuckin’ puff! “ Jonno yells, launching himself at Callum and punching him in the face with a load of force. Callum fell back, with a thud. “ I’m gonna beat it out of ya! No son of mine is a fucking fairly! “ Jonno repeatedly kicks Callum in the stomach. He suddenly crouched down and grabs Callum’s collar in his fists. Callum whimpers in agony. “ You deserve this. “ Jonno grit through his teeth and aggressively punches his son, beating him up till there isn’t a single area of skin that isn’t covered in bruises.

///

Ben sighs loudly, dropping his phone onto the kitchen table in the Mitchell’s house. “ I dunno where he is dad. “

“ He’s probably off in his flat. “ Phill grumbles. “ You need stop worryin’ ‘bout him. “

“ Didn’t you not see his dad attacking him in the Vic? What if he’s done something? “

Phil turns to his son, now Phil’s attention is caught. “ you think he’s found him and done the job proper? “

Ben’s face falls, a sickening feeling going over him. “ Yeh. “ barely a whisper.

Phil huffs and gets his keys. “ come on then. “

They walk around the square before looking in the unlikely of places. The bridge only to find Jonno kicking the shit out of Callum. Who is laying on the ground unmoving. Ben and Phil leg it to them and Phil drags Jonno back who screams in anger. Ben collapses onto Callum, sinking to his knees in shock. Callum looks dead.
It’s like the same with Paul, images of Paul invade his mind. Ben doesn’t even know he is sobbing uncontrollably, Jonno is laying on the floor unconscious
from the punch Phil gave him.

Ben doesn’t notice anything but Callum.

Phil rings an ambulance. Everything goes in slow motion. Ben crying over Callum’s lifeless body. Phil trying give comfort. Ben being ripped away from Callum when the ambulance comes.

Why is this happening again?

////

“ please - please wake up Cal - please don’t leave me - “ Ben whimpered, resting his forehead on Callum’s arm as he held Callum’s hand with both hands. “ - you can’t - you can’t die like Paul you can’t - please wake up - please -“ the words clogged up in his throat. Ben’s throat sore and raw from sobbing for the past 2 days. He has been repeating the same things over and over again like a mantra.

Phil had tried to calm him down. Tried. Ben chucked him out of Callum’s hospital room. Stuart came and was blaming Ben for everything and Ben should be proud of himself for not punching him one.

( “ this is all your fault! I knew my brother ain’t safe with you Mitchell lot! And now I could lose him! “

“ Don’t you think I know that? You bald headed freak? “ Ben screamed through fresh tears, the words getting caught up in his throat. “ I could lose him too. I could lose somebody else I love too Stuart! “ )

And now he is all alone with Callum. The beating heart monitor telling him Callum is still hanging on, the machine breathing for Callum begging for him to stay alive. Everything in this world is telling to hang on but he isn’t waking up. Ben just hopes Callum does want to stay with him.

-/-

It has been 3 weeks, 3 weeks of Callum being in a coma and the doctors are finally bringing him out of it. Ben is terrified, Stuart is nervous because he wants his brother to be okay and Mick & Linda are apprehensive. The police were waiting outside the room too. To get a statement off Callum the minute he woke up and nobody was bloody happy to say the least.

-/-

“ Mr Highway? Mr Highway, can you hear me? “

“ m’yeh. “ Callum mumbles, rolling his head to the left side of the pillow.

The visitors breathe out a breath of relief.

“ Do you know where you are? “

“ M’dunno. “ Callum mumbles.

“ You are in Hospital. I’m Dr Williams. “

Callum doesn’t comment. He feels himself slipping back into unconsciousness again till he feels hard pressure on his collar bone and he is fully awake with a wince.

“ You have been beaten up and been in a coma for 3 weeks. “ The doctor talks at him. “ I will be coming back later on to check on you, when you are more aware of your surroundings. “ they start to walk away only to have Ben block their way not intimidating.

“ You not just gonna leave him are you? Look at ‘him! “

The doctor sighs gently. “ Mr Highway looks fine. the tests we had done tell us he is okay, the skull has healed tremendously. He will be okay with rest and fluids. “ The Doctor explains and walks around ben to talk out of the room.

Everyone gives Callum a hug and tell him how worried they were and tell him how much the square have been rooting for him. How all of them hate Jonno for doing this to him. They leave. Not Ben, he stays, he hasn’t said anything because if he does - he’ll completely break down.

“ Ben. “ Callum weakly calls, squeezing Ben’s hand as tight as physically possible. Ben sits straighter and shuffled closer to him.

“ You okay? “ Ben immediately panicking.

“ Are - you? “ Callum sucks in a breathe between his words.

Ben chokes out a laugh. “ me? You’ve just been in a 3 week coma and been beaten up! The doctors didn’t even know you’ll survive! “

“ Sorry. “

“ I don’t want an apology Cal, I care ‘bout ya. I love you and when I saw you -“ His voice breaks. “ -when I saw you just lyin’ there I thought you’s died. “

Callum bitterly laughed but it sounded painful. “ Da-dad nearly done an successful job then? “

“ yeh he nearly fucking did Callum! “ Ben half shouted. “ I thought I lost you! “ it was like a parallel of Callum saying it when Ben was shot.

“ I wouldn’t have - Have left you. “ Callum gasped out.

“ You nearly did. You could’ve gone the same way as Paul. “

“ I’m sorry you had to go through that. “ Callum apologised. Only he would apologise for getting beaten up and for Ben to be involved. That is why Ben loves him, cal is so compassionate and hardly takes himself into consideration.

Ben sits on the edge of the small hospital bed and cradles Callum’s broken face. “ I love you, you are a bloody idiot sometimes but I do. I want you and me to be together properly, i want us to spend every last minute of our lives together because I can’t lose you. “

Callum watery smiled. “ Deal. “

Ben grinned softly and slowly pressed his lips against Callum’s and kissed intimately.

-/-

After a week in hospital Callum was discharged. Ben helped Callum to his flat and basically became the doting husband.

(Ben secretly loved looking after Callum, especially when Callum needed Ben around to support him ).

Callum lay in bed with his cup of tea in agony. He hates his dad, loathes him even. Ben certainly hates Jonno, if he had the chance Jonno would be dead by now.

Ben smiled happily carrying Callum’s fruits ( side dish ) and Spaghetti Bolognese to him with a glass of orange jucie next to the dish.

“ Whoah-la! “

“ This isn’t microwave food is it? “ Callum suspects, eyeing up the hot food but taking it anyway.

Ben sighed. “ That was one time. “

“ yeh one time too many! “

Ben smiled sweetly. “ but it was nice though. “

“ suppose. “ Callum mumbled but he had a small smile on his face. “ Thank you Ben, for looking after me. “

“ I care ‘bout ya cal. I’ll do anything for ya. “

“ Well you can make a gap in the wardrobe and some space in the cupboard then. “

“ Is this you asking me to move in? “ Ben excitedly confirmed.

“ Yeh. I love havin’ you here and we get on so much. Lex can even stay here too. “

“ Cal I don’t know what to say -“ Ben tearedly smirked. “ I love you so much. “ Ben pressed a kiss to his forehead.

“ I love you too. “ Callum returned the kiss. “ And Lex. “

“ I’ll go and get my stuff! And lexis!” Ben rushes out to get their belongings as Callum huffs out a fond smile.

He really loves this new setting.

Chapter Text

Ben strolled into the Café and immediately softened when he saw Callum at the far end of the café next to the window with his cup of coffee and a newspaper in hand.

“ Alright grampa? “ Ben jokes, sitting down opposite his sorta - not - kind - of boyfriend.

Callum rolls his eyes at Ben’s own amusement and plonks the paper down next to his half eaten bacon sandwich.

“ Alright? “ Callum replies, having an genuine interest.

Ben shrugged. “ ‘suppose life is alright at the moment. “

“ because of all those dodgy deals have gone alright and not to shit? “

“ Yeh - thanks for that Cal. “

“ no problem mate. “

Ben sighed softly, leaning forward to take a look at the newspaper Callum was looking at. Houses.

“ You’ve already got somewhere to live? “ Ben pointed out confused.

“ yeh I know but I can’t just stay on top of the place I work forever can I? “ Callum replied like it was obvious.

“ But you - can’t just move away from here. “ Ben tried again, panicking. Callum can’t leave, Ben couldn’t cope with not seeing Callum’s face in The Square every day.

“ Well I can. “ Callum tilts his head, his usual smile present.
“ I’ve been saving up money and I’ve got enough to buy a ‘ouse. Especially from Dads will money. “

“ But where would you be moving to? “

“ Scotland. “ Callum simply replied.

Ben looked like a picture. “ Scotland! “

Callum burst out laughing at Ben’s horrified face. “ Oh my god your face! “ he chuckled. “ Nah, be around ‘ere or somewhere in London. “

“ But what about your job? “

“ well I drive don’t I? “

“ but - but what if jay needs ya and you aren’t close enough to ‘elp him? “

Callum frowned at the Mitchell. “ Why you so bothered anyway? “

Ben tried to remain calm and collected. “ I only thinkin’ of the logical reasons for ya. “

“...right...” Callum paused. “ well I’ve got a house I need to look at tomorrow, with an estate agent. “ he added.

“ What time? “

“ 11. “

Ben nods his head slowly, surely he can think of something to get Callum to miss it so he wouldn’t be leaving?

Ben looked at his watch and sighed heavily trying to act nonchalant. “ Well I’ve got a car to collect so-“

“ Not a dodgy one? “ Callum faked surprised.

“ Nope. “ Ben smiled sweetly. “ See ya. “ he cheerfully said and left the café. He stood outside and took a deep breath calming his nerves. He can’t let Callum move away from him, they were getting on splendidly and were getting so close. He can’t understand why Callum wants to leave Walford?

Ben enters the Parlour and sees his brother at the desk doing paperwork. Act casual.

“ Alright brov? “ Ben greeted, sitting down on the punter chair.

“ Yeh fine. “ Replied Jay, still writing down on the paperwork.

“ So I ‘eard Callum is leavin’. “

“ yeh I already know. “

Ben shifted, so he was the last to know? Considering how close himself and Callum have gotten?

“ how? “

Jay looked up with a frown. “ How did I know he’s leavin’? Well I talked to him for starters. “

Ben sighed at his bluntness.
“ Where is he movin’ too? “ he changed the topic.

“ Dunno. “ The other Mitchell shrugged, leaning back on the desk chair. “ He has a enough money so probably be anywhere. “ jay explained like it was no big deal - like Ben’s heart isn’t shattering.

“ Why does he want to leave? “

“ Why you so interested in Halfway’s life? “

Ben shrugged, keeping the blush at bay. “ just being nosy. “

Jay hums, unconvinced. “ Think he just wants to be independent. “ he answers anyway.

Ben nods, taking his time processing the information.
“ I wouldn’t want leave ‘ere. “

“ Really? “ Jay is surprised.

“ Yeh, It’s were I grow up. “

“ didn’t you move away? “ Jay pointed out.

“ Yeh but - this is my ‘ome unfortunately, deep in ‘eart. “

Jay hummed. “ Well whatever he wants to do I’ll support his decision. “

“ even if he quits this job? “

Jay shrugs. “ I’ll miss him - but I’ll still see ‘him occasionally. “

Ben doesn’t understand his logic, how can he not miss Callum every single day like Ben?
It feels like Callum is slipping away from him.

-/-

As Callum is plating up his dinner when his phone lights up with a message off Ben.

Ben - I need your help tomorrow. Meet at car lot 10

Callum frowned, curious. He held his knife&fork with the plate of food in one hand with his other holding his iPhone.
He puts down the items and types back his message.

Callum - Why? I can’t be late for the agent tomorrow.

Nearly immediately later Ben texts back.

Ben - I’ll make sure you won’t ;)

Callum doesn’t believe him. Callum might be a bit naive sometimes ( and a bit thick ) but he knows what Ben is planning. He don’t want Callum to move away and he will do anything to make that possible. So, Callum rings up his estate agent and rearranges the booking to 4pm.

-/-

Callum walks to the car lot and ends up at the building at 9:40. Ben smirks happily when Callum enters and stands awkwardly at the punters chair.

“ Ahh! You’re early! “ Ben announces cockily, leaning back with his usual smug grin.

Callum ignores his comment “ When we goin’ then? “

Ben flops the paperwork onto the desk. “ At 10, we’re meeting ‘em at half ‘ten. “

Callum nods his head. He sits down on the chair and slumps slightly. “ So is this a dodgy deal? “

“ yep. A very good deal too. “ Ben explained impressed. “ a load of dosh comin’ my way. “ lies to make it believable.

“ if it works out. “

“ thanks for that Cal, really feelin’ the support ‘ere. “

“ Well I am ‘ere aren’t I? Why else would I be here? “

“ To ‘elp me. “

“ ...right..”

Ben sighed heavily. “ You’re a barrel of laughs aren’t cha? “ he sarcastically states out.

“ Haven’t had anything to eat. “ Callum grumbled, crossing his arms over his chest.

“ Ah, Halfway in need of food ay? “ Ben suspects before getting up from the desk chair and clapping Callum on the shoulder. “ right come on. “

“ We goin’ now? “ Callum requires, getting up too and following Ben out of the car lot.

“ I’m gonna get you a maccies breakfast and then drivin’ to the meetin’ point. “ Ben answers, whilst looking the metal door.

“ You ain’t have to do that Ben. “
“ oh I bloody am Cal, I ain’t goin’ anywhere with you on a empty stomach. “ Ben told him and started walking to the car.
The memory ( memories) reappearing in both of their minds of Callum being grumpy/snappy and it is not a nice side of Callum to see. Even if Callum is funnily sarcastic and rude.

-/-

Callum huffed for the millionth time looking at his watch and shifting on his feet. “ Where is he? “

Ben hid a ghost of a smirk knowing Callum is going to miss his appointment. “ I dunno. “ maybe because there isn’t actually a dodgy deal to go to .

“ Well it’s good that I rearranged my appointment then. “

Ben spun around shocked. “
You what?”

Callum looked at him in the eye. “ I’ve rearranged my appointment ‘cos I knew we would run over time. “

You snide fucking -“ you ain’t so Halfway now are ya? Thinkin’ ahead. “ Ben bitterly chuckled, going for something different to what he thought.

Callum shrugs. “ people don’t give me enough credit sometimes. “ he admitted sadly. Ben’s face fell and felt a urge to touch him, he rested his hand on top of Callum’s shoulder and gave him a reassuring squeeze.

“ I always see more to ya Cal. “

“ your properly the only one who truly sees the real me. “ Callum confessed, out of all the scenarios and places they are having a heart to heart in a shady garage.

That’s when it hit Ben. He can’t push Callum away, he can’t stop his happiness from going ahead just because Ben don’t like it. Love is a 2 way process and sometimes you need to hurt for your loved one to carry on.

Acceptance.

“ I’ll always support you Callum. I’m always ‘ere if you need me. “ Ben softly spoke. The voice he uses on Lexi and Callum seeping out.

“ There ain’t no deal is there? “ Callum caught him out, might as well point the obvious.

Ben sighed, dropping his hand from Callum’s shoulder and backing away slightly. “ no. I didn’t want ya to go. “ ben confessed guiltily - referring to the estate agent appointment.

“ why?” Callum frowned, not seeing the clues in Ben’s actions. They both sit side by side on the front end of the car, thighs touching and hands dangerously close to each other.

Ben gives him a look of ‘you taking the piss?’ “ Cal I care ‘bout ya. I love seein’ you in The Square you wolly. “

“ why? “ Replies a confused Halfway.

“ because I like you, you thicko! “ Ben exclaims widely and in disbelief that Callum doesn’t understand Ben’s warmth for him.

Callum blushes, a smile creeping up and he can’t do anything about it. “ I’m quite fond of you too Mitchell. “

A laugh escapes Ben’s lips. “ That’s why I don’t want you to go. I don’t want you to leave me because- “ he struggles to continue with the nerves and ( the fear of ) rejection taking over his ability to think & talk.

“ -Because I might move on and forget about you? “ Callum filled in the gap for him, feeling depressed that Ben even thinks that. When the past few months have been amazing between them both. How they’ve gotten closer and more intimate ( not sex ). ( they wanted to lay off the relationship side and just get to know each other more ).

Ben nodded his head quickly feeling the most vulnerable in a long time but having Callum here it doesn’t make Ben feel uncomfortable. Instead, he feels safe and protected.

“ I - I like you a lot Cal -“ I love you “ - and I don’t want you finding’ any other bloke ‘cos- your mine. “

“ Bit possessive. “ Joked Callum, nudging the shorter man’s shoulder.

Ben looked back up at him with a weak smile. Only Callum ( and Lexi ) could make him feel happier immediately after feeling so small.

“ I am when I care about someone. “

Callum opened his mouth but didn’t comment. Instead, he slid his hand between their thighs and locked their fingers together tightly.

“ Well it’s good I like you too init? “ Callum told him, casually fondly.

It‘s like a firework sets off in Ben’s heart. “ you mean that? “

“ I ain’t just sayin’ that. “

“ You still goin’ look at that ‘ouse? “ Ben required, cocking an eyebrow.

“ Yeh. “ Ben’s face fell, his mouth forming an ‘o’ shape in disappointment. “ but - I’ll like you to see it as well. “ Callum grinned, something in his voice mysterious.

“ Me? “

“ yeh. I need you to like it too don’t I? “ Callum responded, dropping the ‘seed’ for Ben to realise.

“ Why -“ Ben felt something in the pit of his stomach, like butterflies. The dots mapping together making a picture.

Callum sweetly chuckled. “ I always thought Ben Mitchell was a clever clogs? “

“ You askin’ me to move in? “

“ Yeh - well both of us buyin’ a ‘ouse together. “ Callum corrected in his usual awkwardness. “ It’s got enough rooms for the 3 of us. “

“ Lexi too? “ Ben is just - this cant be happening, especially to him. Good things don’t happen to Ben.

“ Ben she’s ya daughter. You havin’ some brain short circuit thing or somethin’? “

The slightly younger bloke’s face softened into silk. “ I just can’t believe it, I hardly ever get happiness - I don’t deserve it. “

“ You Do! “ Callum strongly replied, shocking Ben from how fierce he sounds. “ You Ben Mitchell deserve everything. You are an amazing person and I’ll use the rest of our lives to show you that. “

“ the rest of our lives ay? “ Ben repeated with a watery grin.

“ If you have me. “ Callum shyly commented.

“ I’ll always ‘ave ya. “

Callum’s eyes twinkled and slowly leaned closer to kiss Ben on the lips. Their lips connected with a sweet moan, the taste of maccies and the taste of salvia. Ben opened his eyes when Callum slipped in a cheeky tongue before pulling away. Bog of them rosy pink in the cheeks and both bursting with fireworks.

“ I love you. “ Callum whispered, sincerely. He has never loved anyone more than he loves Ben and it is magical.

“ I love you more. “ Ben repeated, inches away from Callum’s lips before pecking him on the plump lips again.

Hesitation grow on Callum’s face, pulling back from Ben who couldn’t understand the sudden change in him. “ What’s wrong? “ he internally begged Callum to not change his mind.

“ I ain’t rushin’ you or lex into anything am I? “ Callum feared. “ I’d hate to have you resent me -“
“ -Whoah - whoah wheres that comin’ from? “ Ben butted in, taken back by the word ‘ resent’.

“ I just don’t want ya to feel rushed. “

Ben sighed, or well a deep breath, looking down before looking back up at him. “ Cal...you do realise I’ve practically been livin’ in your flat yeh? And Lex? For the past few months. We are basically a couple without the label ‘ couple ‘ hanging on us. “ he explained to him, amused by Callum’s naiveness

Callum looked flustered and awkward and oh god they have been haven’t they? “ Have you known -“

“ yeh, as well as the whole square but I didn’t say nowt to ya. I didn’t want you to be scared off and wanted ya to realise on your own pace. “

“ so thoughtful. “

“ Especially in the bedroom department. “ Ben cocked an eyebrow smirking.

“ Especially in the bedroom. “ Highway agreed, repeating the same dirty tone.

-/-

The Estate Agent let both of the two look around freely in the house and honestly they were amazed at how beautiful and big it was. The house had a rich design to it, had its own liveable drive way ( greyish/cream stones ), trees and flowers on the outside with a nice garden out in the back. Basically- Tumblr style. The house was very rich looking but so cheap price.

“ Cal you’ve picked a right bargain ‘ere. “ Ben suspected, completely impressed standing in the nice white/black kitchen.

“ I know I ‘ave. I can’t believe it’s so - wow. “ Callum chuckled.

The Estate Agent smiled proud for the positive feedbacks from the best house on the list. “ Will you be putting an deposit on it Mr Highway? “

He looked at Ben, it’s now or never. “ Do you want this? “

“ I’ll want everything with you. “

“ I guess it’s a yes then! “

Everything is slotting into place

///

“ Lexi! “ Ben called his daughter from down the stairs. “ If you ain’t got your school uniform on I won’t let ya walk Sniff after sch’ool! “

“ Daad! You can’t do that! “ Lexi cried out, her voice disapproving.

“ I will lex, Cal will back me up on it as well! “

Callum walked to the stairs too and rested his hand on the railing. “ Daddy’s right lex, you know how he gets. “

“ You ain’t helpin’ here Cal. “ Ben turned to look at his boyfriend ( secretly his husband in his head because Ben has been fantasying about Callum being his husband for ages ).

“ Love you too Ben. “ Callum grinned and pecked Ben on the cheek before walking back into the kitchen to get Lexis school stuff ready.

Ben sighed, turning his body back to the stairs again. “ you have 5 minutes Lex okay? “

“ fine! “

Ben walked through the hallway and into the kitchen where Callum stood putting the final equipment into his daughters school bag. Sniff waged his tail when Ben entered and jumped up to hug him.

( “ Looks like we’ve finally got the pitball and all we need is the joint gym membership. “ Callum laughed lightly, repeating Ben’s words back at him.

“ We don’t even go to the gym. “ Ben said matter of factly.

“ Well we have the dog. “

“ a dog we haven’t even chosen a name for. “

“ Sniff. “ Callum blurted out, interrupting Ben.

“ You What? “

“ Sniff the Pitball. “

“ How did I ever get someone like you Cal? “ Saying it without any unkindness to the words. )

Ben creeped up to his boyfriend and wrapped his arms around Callum’s waist, resting his chin on Callum’s shoulder ( having to go on his tiptoes ).

“ I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. “ Ben murmured, words slightly muffled as his jaw couldn’t move properly.

“ Me too. “ Callum admitted. “ I never thought I would have this but - I’m so glad you came into my life and became an annoying arsehole. “

Ben breathlessly laughed. “ You aren’t exactly an Angel either Cal! “

“ More so than you. “ Callum smirked, turning around in Ben’s embrace and wrapped Ben tighter to him.

Ben hummed, pressing his lips closer to Callum’s. “ You might be right on that Mr Highway. “ he kissed him lovingly.

“ I am right Mr Mitchell. “ Callum grinned and returned the kiss. Which it was broken apart with Lexi calling them both because she is ready for school.

“ I’ll see you later cal. “ Ben called. “ love you! “

“ love you too! “

They really want to marry each other and have anything and everything together.

Chapter Text

Ben used to love staying away from home to do dodgy deals ( a far stretch say, but he didn’t hate them ), but now he loathes being away from his little girl and boyfriend.

It’s only one night Ben. It will go dead fast and you’ll be able to come home Ben. What a load of bullshit Ben thought remembering Callum’s words. It has been the longest night of his life without Lexi’s screeches and bubbly personality or Callum’s dorkiness and just his presence not with Ben. But now, after a night in a cold ( and too big bed ) in a hotel room he can finally go home. Ben practically flew out of the East End and straight for the square.

When Ben saw all the regulars ( Martin selling bananas to customers, whilst Kush tried to sell badly designed dresses to woman ) - Ben was home. He walked to Callum’s flat and got his keys out to unlock the door.

Ben had his suspicions up all morning. When Callum hadn’t texted him anything, but Ben put it to aside. It could’ve just been Callum forgetting where he put his phone again.

And what Ben saw when he entered the flat and then the bedroom was heartwarming. Callum and Lexi snuggled together, Lexis head resting on Callum’s chest ( Callum was laying on his back ), with Cal’s head leaning against his step daughters. The ( a little over grown ) brunette hair all fluffy and messy laying on the pillow.

They looked beautiful. This, them, that was Ben’s family and he couldn’t have asked for anything better. Ben quietly got his phone ( from the kitchen counter where he placed it ) and took a picture of them both. Then a second later Callum grumbled something and shifted, holding his daughter tighter against him. Like he is protecting her from the dark ( when it was morning - 10 in the morning). Ben felt tears in his eyes, he couldn’t have asked for a better family.

Ben took off his clothes and put shorts on to be a big spoon against his boyfriend. All 3 snuggled together and slept.

Chapter Text

Callum sighed heavily on the settee. He can’t be arsed. There are too many people dying and he has to do a load of paper work for them. It’s not their fault, Callum knows, but could people stop dropping like flies for a day?

Jay ain’t helping out with the work either, too loved up with Lola ( Callum is happy for them, he really is, but when you have to do loads of paperwork he becomes annoyed by them ).

So, Callum has taken a break. A lunch break - to relax and try to get rid of the annoyance that has settled in his bones.
The door opens and Callum can’t be bothered to speak, only Ben enters looking far from okay and Callum is immediately in protective mode.

Highway comes up to him and gives him a back hug, resting his head on top of Ben’s head with his arms wrapped around his boyfriends waist.

“ what’s the matter babe? “ Callum murmurs, all of his past problems forgotten about.

Ben breaths out of his mouth, tilting his head back to rest on Callum’s chest. “ Nothin’. “

“ You know I won’t accept that answer. “ Callum warmly tells him, very slightly swinging them both side by side.

Ben takes a short pause, before answering him. “ Can we just - have lunch and I’ll discuss it? “ Whines Ben, he wants a distraction.

“ Sure. “ Callum agreed, pressing a kiss to the shorter man’s head and pulling away. Ben hating the loss of contact already.

Callum stabs the fork into the seedy rocket leaves and tomato’s before glancing up at his boyfriend. Who is playing with one of the tomato’s with his fork.

“ You gonna tell us what’s the matter? “

Ben blinks, once, twice, sighs, carrying on playing with his food. “ It’s just - Dad. “ he says dryly. “ Choosing favouritism yet again. “

“ this about keanu again? “

Ben rolls his head to the side, in an over exaggeration response. “ yes it’s about Keanu! It’s always ‘bout bloody ‘him! “

“ sorry. “ Callum mumbled awkwardly, not expecting Ben to snap at him.

Ben reaches over the table and holds his boyfriends hand guilty. “ I’m sorry cal, it just annoys me sometimes because it makes me feel 2nd best. “

“ Well you ain’t. “ Callum assures him. “ You ain’t ever second best in my book! “ Halfway tried to lighten the mood.

“ you have a book? “ Smirks Ben. Callum gives him a little kick in the shin for a non verbal response before adding.

“ Lex adores ya, I’m quite fond of ya -“ Callum shyly smirks whilst Ben chuckles, stroking Callum’s hand with a thumb.
“ Lola likes ya, Jay finds you annoying but he’ll do anything for ya. Pam sees ya as her other son. “ Callum lists on his ramblings. Ben frowns at him, confused, because his boyfriend is just mentioning a load of people and it feels like there ain’t no point to his ramblings.
Callum sees Ben’s eyes slightly glaze over. “ What I’m sayin’ is, just because Phil don’t see your true aspirations and see you for you - fuck him off. “

Ben chokes out a surprised laugh at ‘saint’ Callum’s vulgar language. “ Callum! I never ‘eard you say such words before! “ Mitchell teases.

“ Yeh I usually leave that for the bedroom don’t I? “ Callum plays along, cocking an eyebrow before returning back to the original conversation. “ What I’m sayin’ is, stop thinking Phil Mitchell is the only person in your life you have to look up too and get approval off. “

“ But He’s me Dad. “

“ yeh? My mums probably dead in a ditch clutching a alcoholic bottle. “ Callum states bluntly, making a point. “ Me Dad is a homophobic twat, Stu is the same like ‘him but does have a weird way of loving people. I ain’t got no role models, but I’m still nice and kind. I don’t care what they think because it’s my life and I’ll do what I thinks best. “

Ben raises his eyebrows, blowing out a surprised breath. “ and I thought me family were bad. “

“ Still are probably. “

“ oi cheeky! “ Ben points, non threatening, at him.

“ Just be you Ben. “

“ But I don’t always want to be known as the bloke who terraces people and is always nasty. “ Ben admits, truthfully. He has been thinking about it for a long time now. He don’t always want the repetition of being cocky and horrible to people. He has Callum and Lexi to look after, he wants to change because of them.

“ nobody’s askin’ ya to change Ben. “

“ No I know that but - I want lex to know I ain’t nothin’ like her grandad. “

“ You ain’t. “

Ben softly scoffed. “ Come on Cal, be truthful. I am like him. “

“ yeh okay fine - sometimes you can be but, you are so different to him as well. “

“ I don’t want to push the two people that mean everything to me away. “

“ You’ll only do that if you let it happen. “

Ben sighs. “ Keanu can knock up my little sister but he’s still top dog. “

“ I don’t get why your dad’s pickin’ him. “ Callum’s at a loss. “ But make Phil proud of ya, without always doin’ dodgy deals, or doin’ crime because that only puts you into danger. “

“ You sayin’ that I should just mellow down? “

Callum doesn’t comment on the wording. “ What I’m saying is show you want to change, express yourself more than being a complete prick. “

“ Cheers. “ Ben sarcastically says.

“ Don’t completely change but make people want to approach you, make people want to like ya but don’t hide your past and your dodgy side because that’s what makes you, you. “

“ You should be a counsellor you. “ Ben tells him in full honesty.

Callum shrugs, blushing from the compliment. “ I try me best. “

“ I love you. “

“ I love you too, even when I want to scream bloody murder at ‘cha. “

“ Maybe you can scream bloody murder in bed when I’m fucking your brains out. “ Ben slides his foot up Callum’s leg and pushing his toes into Callum’s semi hard on. Callum shares the same look and grins, eyes dilating with lust. Callum gets up from his seat and straddles Ben’s legs kissin’ him hungrily on the lips. He places both hands on Ben’s neck and jaw deepening the kiss both moaning. Ben slides his hand into Callum’s boxers, loving the weight of his boyfriend on him.

“ Let’s move this to the bedroom shall we? “

Chapter Text

Callum frantically ran his fingers through his hair with the nerves and anxiety shooting inwards and outwards from his body. Leo was back, back in Highways life again. Callum thought he handled Leo, thought he kept it handled and controlled. Callum kept overthinking. He kept going over and over and over all the scenarios but he still doesn’t know the conclusion- only the possibilities.

Callum feels the old, scared Callum make an appearance again. He heard the multiple of voices keep ringing in his head.

‘ why didn’t you save me? ‘

‘ Such a good boy. You are skilled in the hands department or is that mouth department? ‘

‘Callum you could have saved me and you didn’t! ‘

Callum pushed his chair out and got up, chest contracting and tightening. He needed space but - his head is filled to the brim and Callum is scared of letting his hidden side out. Again.

Callum has kept it away for so long and he feels it sneaking to the surface again. He doesn’t want to show that side of him again but - it might be too late. Like a ticking time bomb.

-/-

“ Well, well - well isn’t it the only Callum Highway. “ A voice comes from the shadows of the park. A cold bitter voice that would send a shredder down anyone’s spine.

Callum looked up from the ground and felt his defences rail up. He erupted up from the damp bench and came face to face with the man he loathes. Leo.

“ You fuck off -“ Callum went to push him only to have Leo grab onto both writs in a vice grip. He needs to show Leo he hasn’t broken him, that he hasn’t made Callum a terrified mess but - he has.

Leo will always be Callum’s demon.

Leo laughed nastily in Callum’s scared face. Leo can actually see the young Callum Highway in this man’s eyes. Reverted back.

“ Now, now Cal-“ A flinch. “ -you don’t want to get upset do ya? “ Leo empathised the words, enjoying the torment.

“ Why are you back ‘ere? “ Callum whimpered, remembering the exact words he said years ago.

Leo smirked, tilting his head. No facial change when he gripped harder when Halfway tried to pull away.

“ You love it. “

( Callum cowered away into the corner of the trunk, feeling petrified of Leo slowly walking towards him. “ Why are you ‘ere?”

“ You love it. “ Leo corrected him, dominating. He was in Callum’s personal space and lifted Callum’s jaw up feeling it wobble in tears. “ You did good. “
“ I don’t want to do it no more! “

“ You know what happened last time. “ )

“ No! Please just leave - leave me alone!! “ Yelled in distress.

Ben stopped in his tracks hearing Callum’s distraught yell and he ran towards the sound.

“ Nah. “ Leo lightly stated. “ I want you again. “

“ you wrecked me! “

Ben stopped quietly, observing the two men. All he wanted to do was rip that strangers man’s off his lover but he didn’t want to intrude. Too curious to pass up.

“ And I made ya into a man! “

Ben frowned.

“ You changed me and I could never -“

Leo pushed his body into Callum’s seeming to be like the hulk of how strong he is. “ You never complained. “

“ I never wanted it. You groomed me! “ Callum confessed, only he didn’t sound strong or determined. He sounded weak, the weakest Ben has ever heard of anyone.

Leo scoffed. “ Groomed? “

Callum frantically nodded his head letting the tears roll down his face. “ You and - and all the others groomed me! “

Ben’s whole face tightened. He put his hands into tight fists wanting to rip the man’s head off his body for grooming Callum.

Nobody touches his Callum either in past or present.

“ yeh? “ A unreadable smirk plastered onto Leo’s face. He quickly pushed Callum hard onto the ground. The silence filled with a gasp and the air literally knocking out of Callum.
“ You know what to do, how this ends but if you want me to tell everyone how a dirty little -“

Callum wheezed, clutching his chest. He couldn’t move. “ No. “

Leo bent down feeling the pleasure of Callum flinching away from him. “ That’s my boy. “ he brushed his fingers through Callum’s hair and stood up to walk away like nothing happened. Ben checked to see the close was clear and jogged to Callum.

“ Callum are you okay? “ It felt stupid to say considering Callum is gasping for air on the ground.

“ f-fine. “ Callum grumbled in agony, rolling slightly holding his side wishing Ben would just go away so he can suffer alone.

How he has been suffering for so long already.

Ben scoffs lightly. “ mate you have seen ya’self yeh? “

“ Just leave - me alone Ben. “

“ Ain’t gunna h’appen. “ Ben replies, voice stern. He helps Callum up. Who screeches in pain and Ben repeatedly apologies till he lets Callum collapse on the sofa back at Cal’s flat.

“ So who was that bloke? “ Ben curiously noses.

“ nobody. “ Callum lies, a sickening feeling in the pit of his stomach. How much does Ben know/heard?

“ You can talk to me. “

( “ It’s okay to talk about it Callum. “ Chris tells him, encouraging.

“ I can’t. I can’t ever tell anyone. “

“ You can talk to me or anyone else. “

I’ll always be alone. )

Callum stares long and hard at Ben deciding if he should or not. Would it be okay? What if Ben laughs at him? The Callum Highway everyone knows will resent him, for the things he had to do.

( “ DO IT CALLUM! “

“ NO! “ Callum screams, reaching breaking point. The gun shaking in his hand violently.

“ SHOOT HIM CALLUM! DO IT DO IT DO IT DO -“

BANG

Leo slapped Callum’s shoulder, proud. “ Well done. )

“ Cal? “

He blinks out of his flashback.
“ W-What? “

“ You can tell me anything you know? “ Ben repeats, softly.

A forced smile plasters onto Callum’s face. “ I know. “

Ben seems unconvinced but doesn’t say anything else. “ I’ll see ya later mate. “ he smiles, but Callum can see the wheels motioning in his head trying to work out Callum’s behaviour.

Callum needs to get rid of Leo.

-

After yesterday Ben has been restless. He can’t concentrate on work or Tubbs or Martin because Callum needs him. He might haven’t even said it but Ben knows, he ain’t stupid.
All the messages he sent to Callum aren’t settling his nerves because the replies are only coming back with “ fine.”

Ben walks in the pub and immediately spots his brother in the booth just at the side of the bar. He sits down next to him and takes a swig of the already there pint.

“ Have you noticed anything weird ‘bout Callum? “ Jay requires to his brother in a hushed tone.

Only, Mick has his suspicions up. He keeps glancing at Jay and Ben from the booth under the window.

Ben has flashes of Callum wheezing on the ground yesterday, of that bloke clutching Callum’s wrists like his life depended on it.

“ Like What mate? “ he supposed instead, taking a gulp of his beer.

Jay sighs softly, clicks his jaw and eyes gazing slightly unfocused. “ Like He’s hidin’ something. “

For Ben to not look odd either he agrees. “ He does seem - different. “

The double doors open and Callum stumbles in surprisingly drunk. Ben and jay frown, a rare occasion for the Highway lad to be drunk. Mick says as much.

“ I’m just havin’ a good time! “ Slurs Callum, lolling on the bar front. “ Get us a double whiskey. “ Callum orders, his voice lost its usual softness.

“ I ain’t -“

Callum slams his fist onto the wooden counter. The room winces from the painful bang. However, Callum seems to not notice, too consumed with anger and too intoxicated. Jay and Ben make their way over to them.

“ Mick get me a fuckin’ whiskey! “
Ben hesitantly touches Callum but he flinches away and pushes Ben off him. The Mitchell man tries to hide the hurt.

“ Maybe you should go ‘ome Cal. “ Jay softly advices.

Callum frowns turning to his boss and points a wobbly finger his way. Callum doesn’t look like Callum anymore. It’s like a shadow has taken over his body, hiding the innocent Highway away.

“ Why should I listen to ya for? You’re just some lousy boss. “

Ben shoots his brother a look
‘ he don’t mean it ‘ but he can see the stung in his eyes.

“ If you feel like that don’t come into work later on. “

“ Wasn’t planning too anyway. “ Callum grumbles, turning to his father figure who watching him with a sad expression. “ Get me that whiskey mick or I’ll buy a whole b’ottle ‘ull.

Mick sighs heavily getting his son ( he sees Callum as his son ) the whiskey. “ one and I ain’t servin’ ya anything ‘else. “ the landlord orders. “ And we’re havin’ words when you’re more sober. “

Callum rolls his eyes and shots back the whiskey slamming the empty glass onto the wooden surface.

“ thanks for nothin’. “ Callum mumbles, he goes to walk through the double doors only to have Leo and Whitney walk in. Everyone spots Callum looking shaken but he stares Leo down ( who does the same ) and pushes past him to walk out.

“ what was that about? “ Whitney frowns.

Leo has an unreadable face on but tightens his grip around Whitney’s waist. “ He’s just drunk. “

Ben eyes Leo up, narrowing his eyes and pushes off the counter to follow Callum. The pub stays silent feeling the tension.

Ben catches up to Callum ( who didn’t walk far ) and grabs his shoulder not at all expecting Callum to tense and practically cower away from Ben.

“ Cal it’s only me. “ Ben comments, being calm to not scare Callum even more.

Callum doesn’t speak. He keeps his head hung low, feeling dirty.
“ Please just leave me alone Ben. “

He needs to tread carefully to not sound demanding. “ I care ‘bout ya cal. “ Ben lets out. “ I want to help ya. “

Callum turns around, shoulders still hunched and avoiding Ben’s gaze. “ You can’t help this. “ he says bitterly.

Ben frowns at the hatred Callum has suddenly developed. “ I’ll try too - I’ll do anything for ya. “

Only goes Ben notice Callum sounding and looking more sober.

“ tell Jay I’m sorry I didn’t mean it. “ Callum says out of the blue.

A bit taken aback. “ Y-yeh course. He knows you didn’t mean it anyway. “

Callum wipes away his tears and turns, without speaking, to walk back to his flat. Only Ben follows too and walks along side him.

“ I want you to open up to me. “ Ben firmly tells him without any heat.

Callum pauses mid unlocking the door and looks at Ben vulnerability covering his features. Ben has never seen Callum look so young before, it is like he has reverted back to a younger person again.

“ I don’t know if you’ll believe me. “

“ I’ll always believe everything you tell me Callum. “

And that seems to bring new tears to the surface. Callum opens the door and lets Ben in. They walk up the steep stairs in silence and Ben stops by the entering of the living room. Callum throws his keys onto the table and walks to the settee.

“ Haven’t you got dodgy stuff to do with Martin and that other bloke? “ Callum comments, just remembering.

Ben sits down next to him and looks at the side of his head. “ ain’t important. You are my 2nd main priority. “

Callum laughs sadly. “ I don’t mean anything to anyone. “

“ don’t say that. “

“ it’s s’true. I don’t, he’s right. “ shit.

“ who? “

“ it doesn’t matter. “ Callum slowly chickens out.

“ Please talk to me Callum. I hate seein’ ya like this. “

“ I don’t know - I don’t know where to start. “

“ From the beginning? “ Ben suggests, without any mocking tone to it.

“ How long have you got? “ Callum bitterly says, trying to bring light to his words but it’s just wrong.

“ All the time in the world for you. “

A shake of the head. A deep breath. A control in his voice slowly fading. A million and 1 thoughts rushing and battling.

Anxiety. Anxiety. Anxiety.
Paranoia. Paranoia. Paranoia.

“ I was groomed. “

Silence. Pause. Silence.

“ Groomed? “ A repeat of the word. He feels sick. He don’t have a clue how Callum is feeling.

“ In the army. “

“ H-how long for? “ God he hopes he’s being sensitive.

“ 5 years. “

Phah. Ben’s eyebrows shoot up. “ That long? “

“ I knew you wouldn’t believe me. “ Callum says his thoughts going to stand up only to have Ben gently pull him back down.

“ I do believe ya. I know you wouldn’t ever lie about something like that. “ Ben recovers, needing Callum to talk more now since he knows.

Callum rubs his forehead harshly. “ It’s hard to talk about. “
“ was that bloke involved? “ Ben knows Callum knows who he’s referring too.

Callum nods his head, god he feels numb. All the emotions coming back to him again. He thought he buried them ages ago.

“ Leo. “

“ Whits new boyfriend? “

“ yes Ben, keep up. “

Ben shuts down. He is terrible at talking, especially when he is too out of depth with something.

“ I - I was young. “ Callum starts, voice thick and deep with nerves. “ When me Dad chucked me out he wanted me to go to the army. “ Ben nodded his head, showing he is listening. “ I was - 16 years old, when I went to the army and I was - stupidly naive and gullible. “

“ Ain’t your fault. You left home too young. “ Ben filled in the gap, correcting him.

“ But I should’ve known Ben! I should’ve known what they were doing to me at the start was bad! “

“ Only because they manipulated you. “

“ How do -“

“ because grooming is being manipulated ain’t it? They talked you round to something probably and becos you didn’t know about things you thought it was normal. “

“ They made me do some terrible things Ben. “ Callum breathed out. Ben rubbed Callum’s back knowing he is starting to have a panic attack.

“ It’s okay baby. “

“ no it ain’t. “ Callum cried, choking out the confession.

Ben brought his lover into his embrace and cradled him. “ They forced ya into doing something. It ain’t your fault. “

“ I should’ve-“

“ Even you said you were too naive and gullible back then. How could you know what they did to ya was wrong? “

“ I hate myself for what they did.” Callum cried into Ben’s chest. Ben carried on rubbing his lovers back and rested his chin on his head.

“ They should only hate themselves Cal. Whatever you did - I support ya, I’ll never hate ya. “

“ You should. “ Callum disagreed.

“ The things I’ve done I’ll be a hypocrite. “

“ I just - just want to go bed. “ Callum admitted.

Ben pulled away and brought Callum to his bed and stood awkwardly at him sitting down.

“ You want me to stay? “

Callum shrugged. “ I don’t know if I’ll be much company. “

“ Well I could come back in an hour and check on ya? “

“ can you tell me first when you’re here? “ Callum questioned. He feels so scared.

“ of course I will. “ Ben honestly replied. “ I’ll see ya in a hour Cal and if you need me just call me Yeh? “

“ Yeh. “ Callum weakly smiled. “ I-err thanks Ben. “ he stuttered, he feels so pathetic.

“ it’s okay. “

Ben made sure Callum’s front door was locked before leaning against the wall. He needs a moment. Callum was groomed. All he wants to do is kill Leo for doing this to his Callum but even he isn’t stupid. He needs to act ‘nonchalant ‘ he can’t drive attention ( or more ) attention to Callum because Cal would drive him away. And Ben would suffer knowing half of a horrific story.

He just wants to support Callum. To be there for him.

Chapter Text

If somebody asked Ben what the definition of ‘beautiful’ was, he would say this moment right here. Callum dead asleep with his mouth half open, his left arm stretched out to his side ( where it was wrapped around Ben till he moved away, wanting to see the whole picture of Callum ) with his other arm resting on his bare stomach.

In recent weeks Callum has left his brunette hair to grow out and Ben isn’t complaining one bit. There is more to grab onto now when Callum is sucking him off in The Funeral Parlour ( Jay still hasn’t caught them & they’ve been having quickies in there for months ) or when Ben is fucking against him and he wants to grip onto that sweet sweaty hair. It now rests on the puffy pillow messily but Ben doesn’t care because Callum still looks like a glowing angel.

Ben scoots up on the bed with his knees and leans over Callum’s sleeping form. He puts his arm on the other side of Cal, to support his body weight and places kisses all over Callum’s chest.

Ben doesn’t know why he woke up at 3’o’clock in the morning and he had a moment of reflect.

To gaze at his gorgeous boyfriend and had the urge to kiss him all over.

Callum shifts and groans, does a weird mouth movement ( like he is eating something) and goes back to sleep. Ben shakes his head fondly, the cuteness overload is too real.

One day, Ben wants to wake up like this and see 2 wedding bands on their wedding fingers. To be sleeping in their very own bed, in a house they own with a load of kids and dogs. He wants the full package with Callum. The thought scares him to the very core, because he has never felt a overwhelming feeling like this before. He’ll always have Paul in his heart, but, Callum has filled up the whole shape.

Ben feels his eyes droop and lies back down, putting his head in the usual place. On Callum’s chest with his arms wrapped around Callum’s waist pressing one last kiss to the warm skin.

He will love him forever and keep on falling in love with him too.

Chapter Text

 

 

Callum still felt drained when he woken up from his deep sleep. The day was barely over and he was done in. The alcohol had done its job, he just wanted to drink away the problems and the feelings. 

 

With a achy groan from the back of his throat he got up from his slumber. Callum walked into the kitchen area and gasped at the firm pressure on his shoulder as he spun around. Leo’s eyes were dark, his brunette eyes turning black like a devil when he pushed Callum further into the counter. 

 

“ You’re hurtin’ me. “ Whimpered Callum, unable to not say it. The pressure increasing by the second in his lower back and with the stern pressure on his wrists from Leo gripping onto him. 

 

“ Do you really think I care? “ 

 

“ P-please leave me alone. “ 

 

Leo pushed his body into Callum’s being invasive of Callum’s personal place. “ Why would I want to do that Cal? “ Callum visibly gulped hating the nickname Leo has always chosen for him. 

 

Callum tried to remember Ben saying it, to remember Ben’s words, his touches and kisses but Leo has ruined all of that. 

 

“ I haven’t - I haven’t done anything! “ 

 

“ No you ain’t but you are so easy to manipulate. “ 

 

Silence. 

 

“ Now. “ Leo starts off shortly. 

“ Do you want people to know what a dirty sleeze bag you are?” 

 

“ You forced -“ 

 

“ ugh Cal, no wonder you are so alone.  You do go on don’t you? “ Yawned Leo. “ Now, back when you were too innocent. Everyone had a bit of Callum Highway. “ 

 

Callum avoided his gaze. He felt small. “ And you were so good at the jobs we gave you that - I’ve gotta give a more. “ 

 

“ But - but why come back?  

 

Leo gave him a pointed look ‘ you really are thick ‘ “ Because since finding ya again I want to ruin you all over again. I want to torment ya and even have a bit of you. “ Leo grinned weirdly, sliding his hand down Callum’s tense front to his soft penis and rubbed teasingly. Callum shuddered, squirming away feeling his body react and he hated it. He felt victimised. 

 

“ Oh look at that? After all these years and you still react to my touch. “ 

 

“ I don’t -“ 

 

Leo leaned into Callum’s body mouth to ear. “ I’ll send you details Cal, you better not ignore me or Whitney gets it. “ 

 

Highways eyes widen in terror. “ no you can’t! She’s done nothing! You can’t ‘urt her! “ Callum preached in fear. 

 

Leo hummed happily looking back at his face again. “ You’re right and that’s why you are going to be my little muppet again! “ 

 

Trapped. Suffocated. Drowning. 

 

“ Bye Callum. “ Leo pressed a peck to Callum’s cheek and walked out of his embrace and left the flat. Callum collapsed onto the floor shaking like a leaf. He wanted to he sick. He wanted all his insides to come out and rip his skin off feeling Leo’s touch on him. 

 

Ben rushed into the living room panicking and skidded to Callum in the kitchen. Ben put his hands on Callum’s shoulders looking frantic and murderous. 

 

“ Callum What has he done to ya? “ Ben demanded. 

 

Callum sobbed into his knees 

“ He’s back. “ 

 

“ What has he done? “ 

 

“ I can’t - I can’t do it again Ben! I can’t! “ Hysterically cried. 

 

Ben cradled him into his side, Callum consciously falling his head into Ben’s chest. 

 

Safe. Protected. Loved. 

 

“ I won’t let you do anything Callum. “ Ben soothed him. “ I’ll protect ya. “ 

 

Callum sniffed hard, ignoring the stinging of the eyes . “ You can’t. He’s too clever Ben. He’ll just - just find another way! “ screeched Callum panicking again. Ben held his lover tighter, shhing him to calm him down. 

 

“ We could tell the copshop? “ 

 

“ Nonono! “ Rocked Callum backwards and forwards reaching breaking point. “ They’ll find out what I did. How I - how I killed someone and I’ll get arrested for murder! “ Callum blurted out accidentally but he was too far gone to process the present moment. Ben sat still in shock. He didn’t expect to hear that from him. 

 

Callum gasps deep from his chest, pulling away from Ben shaking. “ what if - what if Leo gets me and sends me back there? What if he tells the army and I’ll get arrested for murder and for betraying the army and government? What if they all find me? I can’t go to prison I can’t - I can’t!!! “ 

 

“ Just calm down Cal -“ 

 

Callum jumped up pacing around the living room like a mad man. Ben watches him unable to tame the usual calm and flustered Callum down. 

 

“ I need to get rid of him. I can’t let him ‘urt Whitney because of me. I need to stop him. I can’t go to prison. I can’t I can’t - oh my god what if he’s set up cameras and they’re all watching me? “ 

 

“ Callum, “ Ben stepped forward stopping Callum from walking around in circles. “ just think rationally for a moment. “ 

 

“ I can’t Ben. He’s watchin’ me! He knows that I know that he knows and I need to stop him. “ 

 

“ Cal, you ain’t thinkin’ straight. People will know it’s ‘ou because you could cut the tension with a knife in the Vic. “ 

 

Callum shook his head violently now stopping and looking at Ben brokenly. “ I can’t be his muppet again Ben. “ 

 

Ben rubbed Callum’s arm. “ Then we will do something about it then. “ Callum frowned at the ‘we’ it’s like this mess is Ben’s mess now. 

 

“ We? “ 

 

“ yeh I ain’t lettin’ you suffer on your own. “ 

 

“ but you have a life -“ 

 

“ Yeh you are right but I can’t watch you suffering on your own. “ 

 

Callum collapsed onto the sofa, long limbs stretching out in front of him. “ They wrecked me, they did. “ Ben sits beside him slouching down slightly too listening. 

 

“ What did they do? “ 

 

“ Told me it was normal to do things and when I told them no. They would threaten me and because- because I was in the closet they knew somehow. “ 

 

“ Knew how? “ 

 

Callum shrugged his shoulders. “ I don’t know, I probably sent off those vibes or stared at men longer than necessary. “

 

“ and they hurt ya? “ 

 

Callum took a deep shaky breath. “ They would touch me, teasingly because they knew I didn’t know any better. “ 

 

“ And did Leo do that? “ 

 

“ Yeh. “ Callum swallowed thickly. “ Sometimes it was the other campmates but it was mainly him. “ 

 

‘ So you were a target? ‘ Ben assumed on his own. “ Did Leo touch ya when he came here? “ Callum froze for a second and Ben slowly slid his hand onto Callum’s. “ it’s okay to tell me Callum. I won’t do anything. “ 

 

A bit of a empty promise. It’s coming from his heart though, he can’t think of the idea of Callum getting hurt and he didn’t do anything to stop it. 

 

Callum gasped for air for 3 seconds. The anxiety raising higher and higher drowning him. 

“ H-he slid his h‘and down my body and into my - my shorts. He was t-teasing me. “ Callum uncomfortably told him his body feeling the cold fingers over his body. It feels ticklish. Callum wants to rip his skin off. 

 

“ And then he kissed me on the cheek. “ 

 

Ben’s jaw clicked and locked. 

“ Did he do anything else? “ 

Callum shook his head. “ don’t lie -“ 

 

“ Not touching but just being dominant and intimidating. He pushed his whole body against me making me feel - “ Callum shuddered, making him disgusted. “ him. “ 

 

And that’s when Ben had a sicking realisation. When he was dominant with Callum - did he trigger him and Ben didn’t notice? 

 

Callum had a sick sense what Ben was thinking and looked him dead in the eye. “ It’s different with you Ben. I feel safe - I won’t lie I do have a nanosecond of panic but I feel - good with you. “ 

 

Ben felt his eyes tearing up. “ You should’ve said. I would hate it if I made ya -“ 

 

“ you haven’t made me do anything Ben. “ Callum firmly told him. “ With you it’s completely consensual. I want it. With - them it was - pushed. I didn’t want it because I didn’t - I didn’t know it was wrong. “ Callum rambled. “ it felt - wrong but - I know now I was groomed. “ 

 

“ Did anyone else help you? “ 

 

“ Chris figured it out. He told the other - ones and they stopped. I never saw them again. “ 

 

Ben was familiar with Chris but it was always lacking detail and felt there was more when Callum mentioned him. 

 

“ and that’s why Leo is back for ya? “ 

 

“ Probably. “ He said quietly. 

 

Ben blew out a breath not expecting to have this heavy topic dropped on him for the past 44hrs. He doesn’t care though, he is glad Callum has opened up to him and he will support Callum through anything. 

 

“ What do you want to do about it then? “ 

 

“ I’ll have to do it. “ Callum informed, guilt, shame. 

 

No other way out, except for one but it leads to consequences. 

 

“ No Cal, no you ain’t! “ Protested Ben turning his body to look at his lover. “ I can’t let ya -“ 

 

“ there’s no other choice Ben. “ 

 

“ but the police -“ 

 

“ -won’t believe me. “ Callum filled in Ben’s sentence. “ There ain’t no evidence. “ 

 

“ What If the other army people clocked on something and didn’t -“ 

 

Callum huffed. “ I don’t know where they live. Let’s face it I’m alone in this I have to obey Leo or he’ll hurt Whit. “ he sadly explained the truth. 

 

Ben sighed heavily, do you not care about yourself? Ben wanted to say but he knows Callum cares too much about Whitney. 

 

He is Ben Mitchell and he can’t even think of anything to say. Never been good at talking. 

“ Does he have any connections? “ 

 

“ dunno. “ 

 

“ We could send him a warning -“ 

 

“ which he know it was me. “ 

 

Fair point. “ I don’t want you doing it. “ 

 

“ you think I WANT TO DO IT BEN? “ Callum shouted, offended. 

 

“ no of course not. “ 

 

“ I’m more experienced now. I know more. “ 

 

What the hell is that supposed to mean? Ben thought, less naive? In what aspects? Does Ben even want to know? 

 

“ But he’s already hurt ya in your home. “ Ben reminded sadly. “ what if he hurts ya somewhere else? “ 

 

Callum gasps. A idea pops into his head and before he knows it he is getting changed quickly and getting his phone and keys. Ben rushes around him bloody confused and instantly in panic mode because he can tell Callum has an idea. 

 

He doesn’t know if it’s good or bad. 

 

“ Callum! Callum! Wait! “ Ben rushes down the stairs behind a too far ahead Callum. Only Tubbs knocks into him and Ben’s falling into the wall. 

 

“ A date gone ‘rong Mitchell? “ Tubbs grins, cheekily. 

 

Ben brushes his hands off his body and goes on his tiptoes frantically searching for his not-kind of boyfriend. 

 

“ What’s got into you? “ Martin smirks smugly, loving that he is the one who can make the remarks. Especially to Ben Mitchell. 

 

“ Nothing. “ Ben grumbles and heads off seeing Callum’s car driving away. 

 

He needs to get to Callum before it’s too late. 

 

-In Callum’s car as Ben was trying find him - 

 

Callum tried to do his breathing exercises. The iPhone 6 shaking in his clammy hands with the numbers blurring. He stares at Leo’s number for 20 seconds before hitting call. 

 

A wait. Pause. Phone picked up. 

 

“ Well well Well Cal, I knew you couldn’t resist me. “ 

 

Bastard. “ I’ll do it. “ 

 

Callum can sense a quirk of the lip and an eyebrow. “ Oh Yeh? “ 

 

“ I’ll do whatever you want. “ 

 

“ Just like old times ay? “ 

 

“ You know it was all you. “ Callum snapped back. 

 

“ And don’t you know it. “ Leo agreed coldly. “ I’ll send you the address. Come in 20 minutes. “ 

 

Phone line goes dead. Callum smirks stopping the recording. Leo was always a step behind in thinking. 

 

-/- 

 

Ben - Please tell me where you are 

 

Ben - dont Do anything stupid Cal 

 

Ben, voicemail at 13:20 - If I find out you have agreed to anything Leo has done I will go ape 

 

Ben, voicemail at 13:22 - you know I won’t but please just - be safe Cal. I need to know if - voicemail ended. 

 

Callum put his phone back into his pocket with the voice recorder playing. Deep breath. Breathe. Calm. Read script. 

 

“ Callum! You came! “ Leo smiled psychotically. “ Remember all those times when you did? “ a dark smirk developing on the man’s pale skin at the innuendo. 

 

“ What do you want? “ 

 

“ You rang me. “ 

 

 “ After you breaking into my flat and harassing me.   

Callum tilted his head to the side. A new confidence blossoming. “ You want to tell me why you are after me again? “ he adds. 

 

“ You have short term memory loss Highway? “ 

 

Callum smiled darkly. “ only for you. “ Leo’s face shifted and he started to walk to Callum. He brought his hands up and sorted out Callum’s crumbled jumper. Who looked away feeling disgusted at the touch and memories sprinting back. 

 

“ I told you I want to enjoy the torture I’ve got held for you. I want you to be a good boy back in the day. “ 

 

“ And what jobs will that be? “ 

 

“ I want someone killed. “ 

 

Callum physically jolted by the calmness of the words. “ who? “ 

 

“ now that would be telling. Gotta keep that confidentiality. “ 

 

“ Not when I have to do your job. “ 

 

“ hmm true that. “ Leo hummed. “ what if you shut up and do what I tell ya? “ Leo’s voice hardened. “ Here ya go. “ Leo shuffled a brown envelope out of his jacket and pushed it into Callum’s chest. “ do not fuck it up and you and your direst Whitney will live another day. “ 

 

“ Don’t you get tired of this? You already did this back in the army.” 

 

“ Yeh because you were so naive and I could groom you all day long. “ Admitted Leo, actually fucking admitted. Callum’s lungs felt the air knock out of them nearly. “ It took ya 5 years like but - it was good while it lasted? “ Leo grinned, like it’s a joke. It made Callum want to kill him for what he was put through. 

 

“ How the fuck was it good? “ Callum angered. “ You and your lot groomed me for what? Just because I was a army chief? “ 

 

“ Because you was 16. We could easily manipulate ya and you went along with everything we said. “ Leo laughed. 

 

“ You’re sick. “ 

 

“ Maybe I am but you still gunna so that job for me. “ 

 

“ And If I don’t? “ 

 

“ I’ll be more physical with you and put you back into your box. “ 

 

Callum was silenced, shocked, appalled. 

 

Leo’s face lightened and stepped into Callum’s personal space again. He cupped Callum’s jaw and pressed a kiss to his cheek. “ Now you do that job for me Cal and I’ll get ya your money. “ 

 

Callum didn’t say anything. He felt frozen again, just like back at the army again. Leo has this methodical hold over Callum and it is like he has to obey to what Leo says. Silenced all over again. 

 

-/- 

 

Callum stared at the gun and the recording conflicted. When he was back at the army and didn’t do what Leo wanted he got forced into sex. They told him it was punishment and “ getting your experience “ they said. Callum knows now that it was rape. 

 

The door opens suddenly and Ben rushes in red with anger ignoring Callum looking like he had an heart attack. 

 

“ I’ve been ringing and texting you for the past 2 hours Callum! “ 

 

“ didn’t get them. “ Mumbled out the lie. 

 

Ben shoots him an unconvinced glare before clocking the 2 items on the coffee table. “ Why you got a gun? “ he questions dumbly. “ Wait - you’ve seen him haven’t you? Callum I told ya -“ 

 

“ yeh I know what you said Ben! You don’t need tell me again. “ Callum Shut him up. “ He wants me to kill someone. “ 

 

“ you ain’t gonna do it are ya? “ 

 

Callum shrugged. He doesn’t know. Ben sits beside him. Now both men looking at the two items thinking. “ I’m scared of him. “ 

 

“ Don’t mean you do what he says. “ 

 

“ I have too Ben. “ Callum lets out frustrated. “ When I used to tell ‘hem no they raped me. They pushed me into havin’ it. “Callum’s voice quietened.  

 

Ben let a tear fall from his eye not bothering to wipe it away. That hurts. The times when they had sex and knowing Callum had those memories, when they done rough sex once ( they were a little drunk and desperate for each others touch ) and Callum had experienced the worst thing in The Army. It brings such a heavy weight to his chest and shoulders. 

 

“ Cal I’m so sorry -“ 

 

“ I don’t want any apology. You’ve done nowt. “ 

 

“ Can I ask you a question? “ 

Ben starts off hesitantly. 

 

“ depends on what it is. “ 

 

“ Was - was it all the - time? “ Mitchell struggles to speak, nerves. 

 

Callum didn’t speak for a short while and when Ben was about to apologise ( again ). Callum started talking voice flat.  “ Sometimes. If I did something wrong they would shout at me, hit me, or show me ‘how I need to be a good boy.’ “ Ben could tell Callum was repeating the quotation of what they told him. 

 

“ You must’ve been so scared. “ 

 

Callum chuckled bitterly. “ one way of sayin’ it. “ 

 

“ do you want justice? “ 

 

“ I’ll still have those memories Ben. “ 

 

“ yeh but knowing he’s locked up? Knowing he won’t ever ‘urt you or Whitney. “ Ben let him know. “ With Stella -“ Ben shifted, instantly regretting bringing his abusive step - mother up. “ - now she’s dead I know I’ve got justice for my younger self. She’s dead. She doesn’t get to live her life no more and you can carry on with yours. “ 

 

Callum’s eyes hardened. “ how did she die? “ 

 

“ Fell - well dad pushed her - off a roof. “ 

 

“ and he didn’t get no bother from the police? “ 

 

Ben frowned at Callum’s weird tone he’s using. “ Why are you talking like that? You better not be planning something. “ 

 

“ No of course not. “ 

 

Ben didn’t like this change. You could always tell when Highway was lying but now it’s so convincing. 

 

“ Did you record the conversation then? When you met him? “ Ben changed the topic. 

 

“ Yep. “ popping the ‘p’. 

 

Ben sighed, rubbing his forehead. “ Callum to be honest with ya. I don’t have a clue on what to do. You ain’t talking to me. “ 

 

“ I expose him. “ 

 

“ Are you sure? “ Ben didn’t seem so sure. 

 

“ I tell the whole square and make him hated. “ 

 

“ what if they don’t believe ya? “ 

 

Callum looked sad again. “ Guess they never knew me properly then. “ 

 

“ just sleep on it Yeh? Then in the -“ 

 

“ I have to kill that bloke tonight Ben. “ Informed Callum bluntly. “ I don’t have the time to sleep on it. “ 

 

Ben’s heart started to race. “ I’ll do it for ya. “ 

 

“ No Ben I can’t -“ 

 

“ no! You can. I don’t want you having someone’s death on your conscience. “ 

 

“ already got that. “ Callum laughed emptily. 

 

If he did go to the police. He’ll have to tell them everything. He even has a phone recording and the conversation recorded to prove that. So why isn’t he not doing anything? Ben’s right, just because he’s scared don’t mean he has to follow everything Leo says. 

 

“ I’m gunna tell the police. “ 

 

Ben’s face lit up at Callum’s right decision. “ proud of you. You know I’ll be there with you every step of the way Yeh? “ 

 

All as long he has Ben. He’ll be okay. 

 

-/-

 

Ben walked behind Callum giving him the space. Callum placed his hands onto the wooden counter with glass windows. The police looks at him waiting. 

 

“ I want to report a crime. “ Callum anxiously told him, looking over his shoulder quickly and to have Ben smile at him to encourage him more. It helped. Actions speak louder than words. 

 

“ I was groomed when I was sixteen, with other sexual assaults. Now my groomer has come back to blackmail me. “ 

 

“ and this man’s name? “ 

 

“ Leo King. “ 

 

-/- 

 

Callum breathed out a deep breath, pressing his head back against the headrest in Ben’s car. “ You okay? “ Ben required. 

 

“ Telling complete strangers about your abuse? Fantastic. “ 

 

“ What are they going to do now? “ 

 

“ They don’t have enough evidence. They have the gun, have the recording but of course not! That can’t be enough can it? “ 

 

“ Has he tried ringin’ you now? “ 

 

Callum shrugged. “ They’ve taken in my phone. To get the recording. So I’ll probably get punished for that after. “ 

 

“ No you won’t. I’m gunna stay with ya. “ 

 

“ I ain’t your responsibility. “ 

 

“ No but you are my priority because I love you. “ 

 

Callum turned his head to look at him amazed. “ you mean that? “ 

 

“ of course I do. “ Ben told him,in that tone ‘ you muppet.’ 

 

Callum broke out into a small smile sliding his hand over to Ben’s hand. “ I love you too. “ he sincerely vowed. “ but I ain’t ready -“ 

 

“ I ain’t pushin’ ya. I’ll never push you into anything Cal, all at your own place okay?! “ 

 

Callum squeezed Ben’s hand in response. “ I don’t want to go home yet. “ 

 

“ Well we could always get something to eat? “ 

 

“ in that burger place? “ 

 

“ Of course. I love wrappin’ me mouth around something meaty. “ Ben joked, lightening the dull mood. 

 

Callum laughed through speaking. “ Ben! “ 

 

There ain’t enough words to describe how good it feels to see Callum laugh freely, especially from these last few days. 

 

-/- 

 

The cold laugh echoed into the square. Ben wrapped his arm around Callum as he shuddered from his evil abuser. How can he be laughing and living whilst Callum is so lost and broken? 

 

“ Are you sure cal? “ Ben asked him, nervous for Callum’s state to worsen. 

 

Cal visibly gulped and nodded his head. “ I - I need to. “ 

Ben shot him a smile, ‘ I’m here for you,’ and gently squeezed Callum’s side to start walking into the Vic . 

 

“ oh ‘ere he is. “ Whitney suspects, eyeing Callum up in disgust. “ You get a thrill out of wrecking people’s l’ives? “ 

 

The room quietens down. Mick looks at Callum, he sees him like his son and can always read him. But now? Mick’s confused. “ Halfway, why did you get Leo arrested for? He wouldn’t ever -“ 

 

“ he would! “ Callum snapped at the landlord. The tension getting to him, surprised nobody else can hear his fast heart beating. 

 

Whitney put down her glass and stood straighter intimidating her ex. “ Come on then halfway -“ she lets out the words slow and mocking. “ tell us why you got my boyfriend arrested? “ 

 

“ you don’t have to do this cal. “ whispered ben, seeing Callum’s body language look so ragged. 

 

“ I ain’t hiding no more. “ Callum told her, told Ben, told everybody in the Vic with confidence. “ Your boyfriend groomed me back in the army. “ 

 

Gasps. 

 

“ Your still saying that? “ Leo appears from behind them, intensely. Ben stands straighter getting ready to defend his Callum. 

 

“ You did! You know you did! “ Callum pleaded. 

 

“ Halfway come upstairs yeh? We can talk about this. “ Mick suggests to highway. 

 

“ You don’t believe me so ya? “ Spins around Callum broken. Whitney walks over to her boyfriend and now both of them stand face to face with Ben and Callum. 

 

“ Of course they don’t Cal. “ Mocked Leo, not letting Mick answer. . “ Why would you be saying this now? It’s been 11 years since you left for the army. “ 

 

Mick’s face shifts, eyes narrowing. “ So you admitting that aren’t cha? “ he directs to Leo. 

 

Leo looks flustered but quickly recovers his posture. “ we were in the army. I was mates with ‘him but something in that brain of y’ous thought it was sinister. “ 

 

“ Callum wouldn’t just say you was grooming ‘him for nowt. “ Ben knows, crossing his arms over his chest eyeing Leo up. 

 

“ Nah I wouldn’t, not our Callum. “ Phil appears from the booth and stands beside Callum. To protect him like when Jonno tried attacking him. 

 

“ Well you don’t know him as much then do yah? “ Leo mocks. 

 

“ He cheated on me. None of ya thought he’d be capable of that! “ Whitney defended them both, smugly. 

 

“ Fair point. “ Louise mutters. 

 

“ Shut up Lo. “ Sharon hisses. 

 

“ I wouldn’t lie! “ Callum feels like dying. 

 

“ but your sick brother with that nonce stuff -“ 

 

Mick points his finger in Leo’s direction standing just behind Cal. “ Our Callum ain’t nothin’ like that. He ain’t lyin’ I can tell. “ 

 

“ well I guess you’re more stupid than I thought. “ Whitney answers, upping her jaw up. 

 

“ You was with h’im. Surely you believe him? “ Ben nearly shouts. He wouldn’t of thought Whitney would take somebody’s else’s side over Callum. 

 

“ I thought I knew him till I found out he was gay. “ 

 

Leo eyes them all up, loving the thrill, loving to see Callum sink further and further down into dread. 

 

“ The police let me go. Nobody believes ya cal. “ Leo patronises. “ Just tell us the truth. “ 

 

“ I am telling the truth! “ Callum lunges for him seething. Mick holds him back roughly. “ You ain’t telling anyone the truth! You know what you and rest of them did! “ 

 

“ Did daddy never give you enough attention? “ Leo says out of the blue, feigning interest. “ Or did he only give it in punches and beatings? “ 

 

“ shut up! “ Callum goes for him again. 

 

“ cal calm down. “ Ben rubs his lovers shoulder whilst mick still has a tight hold on the lad. 

 

“ Or your mum? “ Leo carries on, winding him up, laughing in his face. “ Loved sweet cally more or loved a whiskey bottle more? “ 

 

“ I’m tellin’ ya, shut up! “ Warning in Highways voice. 

 

“ or what? “ Leo leans forward, teasing. “ yous gonna give us a peck on the -“ 

 

Thump. 

 

Callum punches him hard in the face making the other man to fall back with force. Nobody can pull Callum away from punching Leo in the face. Too much consumed anger making Callum see just red. 

 

Even the sweetest of people can only take so much. 

 

Eventually, Phil, mick and Ben manage to drag Callum off Leo. Who is covered in his own blood and Callum’s. Barely conscious. 

 

“ I told ya! “ Seethed Callum, sounding unrecognisable. The whole Vic in state of shock. “ I told ya to shut up and you ain’t! “ 

“ You’ve inherited your dad’s temper, gotta give that to ya. “ Mocked Leo, feigning impressed. Callum jolts go for him again and mick becomes the bigger man. 

 

“ Halfway get to the back now and ‘alm down! “ 

 

Callum doesn’t move. He glares down at his abuser. He could kill him and not think twice about it. All the built up hatred now breaking out. 

 

“ Now! “ 

 

Ben roughly pulls Halfway into motion and all 4 men go into the Vic’s kitchen. Mick gets out the first aid kit starts wiping the cuts on the other man’s knuckles in silence. Callum knows mick is disappointed in him for the way he has acted but he ain’t guilty. 

 

“ You could’ve killed him Callum. “ Phil tells him instead, like it isn’t obvious. 

 

“ And you would’ve been sent to prison. “ Ben adds. 

 

Callum’s mouths form a straighter line not saying anything. He don’t care. It isn’t like him to be like this, to feel like this but Leo - he has changed Callum again. He has made everything come back up to the surface again and Callum can’t do anything to control it. 

 

“ Halfway, what Leo said. Did he really - groom ya? “ Mick hesitantly asks him. 

 

“ yeh. Yeh he did. “ Callum confesses, sad, hollow. Anything. 

 

Phil glances at his son, a fraction of emotion showing on his face. 

 

“ how long for? “ Phil pipes in. 

 

“ 5 years. “ 

 

Mick’s and Phils eyebrows shoot up whilst Ben looks pained again. All he wants to do is walk out and clear his head, he can’t physically be able to stand there. Knowing his Cal was abused for such a long time. 

 

“ why didn’t you not tell anybody? “ 

 

“ I didn’t know I was being groomed till i was far too late. “ Mumbled Callum, feeling suffocated. “ I told - I told Chris and he some how - got them to leave me only Leo never did. “ 

 

“ well let’s talk to Chris then. He probably got evidence on ‘him then. “ Mick suggested. 

 

“ Chris is dead. “ 

 

“ and the police? Have you been -“ 

 

“ they don’t have enough evidence. The recording I have of Leo practically admitting it is not enough apparently. “ Callum bitterly told them all. 

 

“ Fucking clueless they are. “ Phil seethed. 

 

“ he’s never going to leave me along now. “ Callum said ever so quietly. You had to strain your ears to hear him. 

 

“ We could get him for harassment? “ 

 

Callum pushed against his chair needin’ to be left alone. He can’t deal with any of this now. Everything is too much and he wants to die all over again. 

 

/-/

 

6 months later 

 

Ben snuggled closer to his boyfriend and kissed Callum’s warm shoulder sleepily. 

 

“ mornin’. “ he murmured, against Callum’s bare chest. 

 

“ mornin’ to you too. “ The brunette wrapped his arms tighter around Ben’s waist. “ I can’t believe yesterday really happened. “ he explored. 

 

Ben hummed. “ You’ve got justice now Cal. Everyone believes ya. “ 

 

“ it feels weird. “ Admitted Callum as he played with his boyfriends hair. 

 

“ good or bad? “ 

 

“ Good I suppose. I just - I can’t believe all these months have been worth it. To see all those - abusers sent to prison for years. “

“ I’m proud of ya. All of us cal. We knew you’d get justice. “ 

 

“ it’s just you, me, Lex and the future now. “ Callum pressed a kiss to Ben’s forehead. 

 

“ Just us 3 and our future. “ Ben shortened and repeated with a glistening smile. He pulled himself up and pressed a soppy kiss to his boyfriends mouth. 

 

The pain was worth it. To get here, to get that dark, hidden experience off his shoulders. 

Chapter Text

Ben is a man with many skills. One of them being a very good artist, he could look at something and draw it. All the major and small details included. So, when his fiancé is cooking in their house looking more like a model than a funeral director. Ben draws him. The little outlines and the things surrounding Callum fading on the art paper. The shading in with the black highlighting Callum’s hair and the shorts he is wearing. Damm even Ben has included his boyfriends muscles and the drawing looks - wow. Callum says as much.

Ben blushes, Ben Mitchell isn’t the sort to get embarrassed. Only Callum Highway would claw that side out of him.

“ it’s nothin’ really. “ Ben covers, feels his cheeks go warm. Callum makes a face and gets the notebook suspecting the magical drawing.

“ Ben, “ Callum empathises the word. “ You are dead talented. This is beautiful. “

“ Says the man who I was drawing. “ Ben replies back smugly. He gets up from the kitchen table chair and places his hand on Callum’s shoulder. Now both men looking at the artwork.

“ babe, it ain’t nothin’ special Yeh? “

Callum pouts, looks like he is about to argue but internally sides against it. Defeats. “ Yous gonna keep it though yeh? “

Ben considers it for a moment, there isn’t a reason for him to get rid of it really. “ Of course “
And the delighted face Callum has just melts Ben’s heart into goo.

Chapter Text

“ think I’m ‘dyin’. “ Groaned Ben, not moving because it feels like he is paralysed.

“ You ain’t dyin’. “ Confirms Highway, bringing the herbal tea to Ben’s bedside table.

“ Well it fuckin’ feels it. “ grumbles Ben. It hurts to even think and use his brain. He looks in the corner of his eye and sees the steaming tea and huffs ( barely huffs ). “ I ain’t got the energy to drink that shit. “

“ I’m gunna feed it to ya. “

“ oooh kinky Cal! “ Ben coughs out and winces from the PAIN.

“ it’s a lemon and lime drink. “Callum states bluntly. “ nothing kinky ‘bout that. “

Poor innocent Callum, Ben thinks. Bless his boyfriend.
“ never mind. “

“ Right bring your ‘ead up. “ Instructed Callum.

“ Ain’t gunna happen. “

“ Lazy. “

“ I’ve got the flu! “

Callum slaps his hand on Ben’s shoulder and literally drags Ben up from the bed. “ I would say that was hot but -“ Ben coughs at Callum and winces and grumbles again. “ - that fuckin’ hurt. “

“ soz Babe. “ Callum at least looks guilty. “ You want a straw or drink straight from the mug? “
“ unfortunate term of phase. “

Callum rolls his eyes, remembering the time in The Queen Victoria bogs when Ben said that. “ Straw? “

“ Yeh. I’m very good at sucking on something I am. “ Ben smirks slightly. Only it looks wrong, considering how illy pale Ben looks with the black bags under his eyes.

“ I’ve had better. “

Ben slowly turns his head at him. Callum should be proud actually because that is the first movement Ben has done for at least 4 days.

“ You jokin’? “

“..Yes...”

“ give me that straw. “ Callum does as he’s told. Ben drinks the whole tea, only becauseCallum refused to take it away when Ben made gagging noises.

“ I hate you for forcing me to drink that shit. “

“ I love you too babe. “ Callum smiled sweetly, leaving the mug on the bedside table. He gently pushes Ben back down who groans. It feels like he is floating.

“ take me glasses off and me hearing aids. “

“ but you’ll be unable to ‘ear anything. “

“ that’s the point Cal. “ Ben says with his eyes closed. Callum does as he’s told reluctantly. He presses a kiss to Ben’s forehead and leaves the room.

Callum loves Ben he really does but if Ben becomes ill again. He’ll happily go on holiday for the foreseeable future of Ben’s hypothetical illnesses.

Okay he’s lyin’ he’ll always look after his boyfriend when he’s ill.

-/-

Callum thought he heard something, like someone was calling his name but every time he paused and listened tensely there was silence. Till, what felt like the millionth time, the same calling was heard and Cal realised it was Ben. Callum jogged up the stairs and was met with a very emotional Ben. He was crying and looked so vulnerable it broke Callum’s heart.

“ hey what’s the matter? “ Callum soothed him, rubbing Ben’s arm up and down.

Ben coughed, looking like he was straining to find the words. Ben saw Callum’s lips moving but he barley heard anything, only sounds that would be heard under water. He regretted telling Callum to take out his hearing aids.

“ H-hearing aids. “ Ben breathed out, his voice rustier than normal. Callum made an ‘o’ shape with his mouth and put the hearing aids into Ben’s ear and waited for him to speak.

“ I - I was callin’ ya for ages. “ Ben whimpered. It felt like a knife to the stomach hearing Ben sound so little.

“ I’m so sorry I didn’t ‘hear ya properly. Every time I thought I did -“

Ben cut him off. “ I regret tellin’ ya to take out my ‘earing aids. I felt so - so alone. “ he whimpered. Only showing his vulnerability in front of Callum because he feels safe and protected with him.

“ Oh babe. “ Callum breathed out, feeling so such sympathy for his boyfriend. He lay down beside him and hugged him.

“ I’m sorry Ben. “

“ You’ve got nothin’ be sorry for. “ Mumbled reply. “ please just - just stay with me - don’t leave me. “

“ I’ll never leave ya. “

Chapter Text

8.silenced

Ben would never -not -let Callum be happy. He loves Callum too much to watch his soulmate be miserable and unhappy - like when he was with Whitney. Ben knows Cal loved her, but, he was hiding his true self and was suffering in the process.

And that is why Ben agreed with Callum to be mates, best mates, whatever you want to call it ( friends in love? )

Callum was going out tonight. In London, away from the square and having peering eyes glaring into him ( hint - Whitney ). He was excited and nervous and felt the adrenaline flush through his veins.

And he was alone.

He told Ben that he is discovering his preferences ( in men ) and that he’ll be fine. When Ben offered to come with him, Callum declined, not because he’s ashamed of being out with Ben, but because it would be unfair for his love to watch him meet new guys.

Hence why Ben is sitting in the dim living room at the dining table starring at his phone. He is worried about Callum being alone out in London and vulnerable. Ben obviously knows the Highway lad is an adult but when you have no experience ( at all ), no concept of the dangerous ( whilst being intoxicated/men being manipulated etc ) Ben didn’t want to leave Callum alone.
But he reluctantly respected Callum’s choice to leave going out with him. The Mitchell bloke didn’t want to seem pushy, dominating Callum too much.

It is killing Ben to no end. Especially when Callum has stopped texting him around 10 minutes ago. Ben leaves his phone at the table and grabs a beer.

-

Callum tapped his foot to the beat of the pop music observing the environment. It is active, illuminated by laser beams and shooting neon shapes.

Callum opted for a busy bar, the first gay bar that caught his eyes. It was - good but strange being here. The ‘ gay man night of horniness ‘ was booming with life and Callum never felt so alive. Okay, maybe a tad over exaggeration but more so without Ben. He misses him. But they are mates! So Callum has to put up and shut up about his beating heart of love...

“ Aren’t you a fine thing? “ A man creeps up to highway, nearly purring with impression shown on his face observing Callum’s movements.

A blush crept up onto his cheeks and bit back a nervous smile. Which made him look too cute than necessary.

“ Awah blushing already are we? “ the man smirked, eyes darkening when he stroked Callum’s cheek with a finger.

“ N-no. “ Callum found his voice and also found it squeaky with nerves and anxiety.

The man laughed at Callum not in a mocking way. Callum felt more confident after internally composing himself.

Does this man like him? If he didn’t he wouldn’t be talking to Callum would be? And Cal has gotta admit, this man is pretty decent, not Ben Mitchell decent, but good enough decent.

“ Whats cha’ name? “ Callum asks, sipping from his beer.

“ Luke. “ Luke answers, leaning forward closer to Callum with something in his eyes Callum can’t name. “ but you can call me whatever you like honey. “

Okay a bit forward. But wasn’t Ben forward anyway with him? No, actually he was teasing. But was it? Fucking hell Callum stop having a mental crisis, flippin’ heck.

“ Yous gunna tell me yours or are ya gunna stay anonymous? “ referring to exchanging names.

Callum bit back a chuckle. Okay this isn’t going so bad. He can do this. “ Callum. But you can call me anything you like too. “ he silently hesitated but went to stroke Luke’s hand with a flirting smile.

“ You are too cute Callum. “ Luke announced. “ are you this cute in the bedroom? “

“ You’ll have to find out. “ A cock of an eyebrow, flirting back. Is this what you’re supposed to do? Flirt? He thought abstractly.

“ A man with a mystery. I love unfolding a story and seeing how it all breaks apart. “

“ hmm. I like crime shows too. “

Luke chuckled darkly. Callum didn’t seem to notice the hint of danger in Luke’s voice with his earlier reply.

“ Do you live near? “

“ No I live in Walford. “

Luke nodded his head, sucking in his bottom lip and biting it, starring intensely at Callum. “ I’ve got a hotel near by. You want to come? “

“ I - I don’t normally do flings. “ shit. Shit. Shit. He was bricking it, it feels like he is cheating on Ben.

“ Well we can have a coffee and get to know each other better can’t we? “ Luke stroked the full length of Callum’s arm whilst talking.

Deep in Callum’s gut it felt wrong. All this just felt - odd, unsafe, maybe this man genuinely wanted to get to know him. Why would a person want anything more? They can just have coffees and talk and then Callum can go back home.

“ yeh okay. “ Agreed Highway easily, smiling softly taking a gulp full of his nearly finished beer. Luke chuckled in the back of throat and locked his right hand with Callum’s right, before pulling him in the direction of the exit.

Callum felt a buzzing in his head. The alcohol helping to soothe his nerves whilst pushing away the doubts and dangers.

The night ahead going to drastically change his life forever.

-
Ben - 12:30 - are you okay?

Ben -12:59 - Callum, pick up the phone

Ben 01:02 - voicemail - Callum please pick up the phone. I’m worried ‘bout cha. I don’t want you out in London on your own, I don’t want ya getting hurt. Just - just text me yeh? so I can pick you up.

-

Luke lets out a ‘relaxed’ breath zipping up his fly and buttoning his brown belt around his jeans. He didn’t knowledge Callum laying lifelessly on the hotel bed, just starring into space unmoving.

Luke groaned, eyes dark. “ Cal don’t act like this. You were the one playing hard to get. “ he moved closer to the bed ignoring at the way Callum tensed scared. “ You wanted me. You was moaning ‘n’ the lot! You liked rough and you got it don’t be so ungrateful. “ Luke disapproved, disappointed. He leant closer to clasp his lips against Callum’s cheek and rubbed Callum’s naked, bruised back. “ I’ll be back again if you ever want some rough sex. “ he grinned, coldly, like what they just did was 100% consensual. He got up and got his jacket from the floor and other accessories.

He stood at the hotel door, hand on the door nob before looking back at the broken man. “ Oh by the way this room has been payed for. So you don’t have to worry about money! You dirty little slut. “ a loud echoing laugh escaped his lips and walked out slamming the door shut behind him.

Callum couldn’t move. Empty. Victimised. Lifeless. Changed. How could this happen? Why did that man have sex with him when Callum said no repeatedly? Why ignore Callum getting distressed by the second? He ( Callum ) thought Luke was being nice, he thought they would just have coffees and talk. All this is Callum’s fault isn’t it? He’s brought this onto himself.

What a laughing stock he is.

-

Ben can’t concentrate on work. It is now 11am, 16hrs since he last saw his Callum and Ben is beyond worried with anxiety.
Ben sighed heavily with a groan throwing his pen down onto the half written papers and locked the car lots door shut.

He’s gunna find Callum.

Fortunately for him Callum is walking back to his flat slowly. Ben frowned at the man’s slumped posture. Highway looked in pain, like he seen someone kill a puppy. There was a weird vibe about Callum and Ben didn’t like it one bit.

“ Cal! “

( “ come on Cal! “ )

Callum stiffened to a log. He cowered in fear, Luke was back. Did he follow him all the way back?

“ Please don’t - please don’t do it again -“ Whimpered Callum, turning his face and body against the brick of the flat wall.

Ben let the hurt and confusion be evident on his face. “ Callum it’s me. Ben. “ he reached out to touch Callum to know it is really him but Callum flinched from the non touch. He tensely flicked his eyes to Ben like he was expecting it to be a sick joke but no- it was really Ben standing there.

In most cases Callum would feel safe and protected but now? He felt like he died.

“ I need - I need to go -“

Ben didn’t respond at first. He narrowed his eyes and looked at the dark patches on Callum’s neck. Now looking at Callum properly he looked like he’d been through something traumatic.

“ What’s happened to ya? “

Raped. I was raped. I - I met someone and they -“ nothing.” Callum blurted out instead. He can’t speak. He feels sick, he might actually be sick.

“ I don’t believe you Callum. “

Tears drop from Callum’s eyes. A minute away from a emotional breakdown. Callum quickly opened the flat door and let Ben in. They both walked up the stairs and Callum heavily sat on the sofa and started to cry from the pain and distress of what happened to him. Ben sat next to him putting his hand on Callum’s arm who shrugged him off.

“ I met - I met a bloke. “ Choked out Callum, not meeting Ben’s half murderous gaze.

Ben’s jaw locked and clicked. He felt the flurry speeding down his veins a thousand miles per second. “ And he hurt ya? “

“ He -ra-raped me Ben. “ Callum burst into a painful sob, crying frantically into his hands. Ben couldn’t move. He physically could not move a muscle. Callum was - raped? His Callum! Whilst he was sat at home fretting over Callum - he was experiencing the worst physical thing to happen to somebody?

Ben mentally shook himself and cradled his soulmate. He rubbed Callum’s back in a calming rhythm, resting his head against Callum’s head.

“ it’s gunna be okay. It’s gunna be alright Callum. I’m ‘ere now. I won’t let anything hurt you no more. “ Rambles. It felt like he wasn’t even saying it no more, everything felt - on its axis.

“ It ‘urt so much Ben! “ Callum’s throat wobbled, gasping through sobs. “ He wouldn’t stop! I kept saying no - but -“

Ben tightened his hug, cradling him more. “ I know, I know. “ the words left his lips loosely.

-

Callum cleared his throat awkwardly when Ben was still sat on the sofa. Callum had a shower needing to get that man’s scent and touch off his skin but - Callum still felt him.

“ You - you can go if you want. “

Ben frowned. He doesn’t know how to approach Cal, he is too out in depth. This is such a sensitive and fragile situation that Ben can’t afford to fuck up.

“ I don’t want to leave you on your own. “

Callum adverted his lovers gaze and fiddled with his hands. The dark bruises on his wrists evident. “ I don’t want you stoppin’ your ‘ife because of me. “

Ben slowly got up and walked over to him with the calmest expression not wanting him triggered. “ It ain’t stopping Callum. I want to support you. “

“ I don’t know what to do. “ confessed Callum, brokenly but no tears came to the surface. “ I feel different. I’m not me no more. “

“ Don’t you ever say that again. “ Ben couldn’t help to sound stern. “ He ain’t changed ya. You are you. You’re the same dorky Callum Highway that I fell for. “ a slight smile and glow to his eyes brightened.

“ It feels it. “ Callum whispers, throat tight.

Ben stepped into Callum’s space and pathetically questioned Callum permission to touch him. When he got accepted Ben placed his hand very loosely on his lovers arm.

“ He has not changed you Callum. He is scum. You - you may feel like this for a while but you’ll soon realise you are exactly the same as before. “

“ I hate him. “ Callum’s chin wobbled. “ I hate him for doing this to me. I feel - I feel so so strange and I - I don’t know how to describe it! “

“ can I give you a hug? “ all he wants to do is put all his words and emotions into that embrace.

Admittedly, he don’t know what to do or say. Only, he does know what to do. He will find that rapist and he’s gunna make him regret ever touching his man.

When Callum has calmed down, sitting on the sofa with a cup of tea. Ben observes him. Bruises, cuts, love bites covering his lover and the flurry washes up in his veins again.

“ Yous decided about telling the copshop? “

Callum shook his head. “ I don’t want to talk about it. “

“ but you can get justice! “

“ And they probably don’t have enough evidence! “

Ben frowned. “ they have the CCTV footage, your clothes - all your injuries-“

“ and they’ll probably say the footage shows nowt! I willingly went with him! “

“ What about your clothes then? “ ben challenges him. “ They have his DNA on them. “

Callum huffs, rubbing his forehead not knowing his hoodie sleeve rolled up showing the bruises. Ben bites back the cry of the reminder.

“ And it don’t show nowt! What if they just say it’s rough sex? “

“ Your injuries say other wise. “ Ben darkly reminds him.

“ I just don’t want to look like a laughing stock! “

Ben made a quick move and sat next to him grabbing Highways hands. “ You ain’t a laughing stock, not to me. If they don’t believe ya, if the bloody square don’t believe ya. I will. I ain’t goin’ no where. “

Callum anxiously looked up and blinked at him. Scarred. “ you promise? “

“ I promise. “

“ Okay then. “ barely a whisper.

“ Yeh? “

“ Yeh. “ Callum sounded more confident than a second ago.

I’m so proud of you. Ben instead opted for a hug, digging his nose into Callum’s shoulder feeding the pride into the grace.

Chapter Text

8.broken

Ben tucked his collar of his dark black dotted shirt up to flattened it out in the mirror. Ben knew he looked good, like, really good. Ben’s hair was styled with a slight quiff and had that messy - yet neat - vibe to it.

“ How did I get a model of a boyfriend? “ Callum appeared, standing by the bathroom doorway of his flat. He observed his boyfriend who smirked at him, nearly blushing and not breaking eye contact in the reflection.

“ You let me torment cha be’cause you knew you loved me. “

Callum huffed out a fond chuckle, making 2 wide steps to his shorter partner and back hugging him to rest his chin on Ben’s shoulder.

“ You shouldn’t look this attractive babe. “

“ Hmm. Yous not so bad ya’self. “ Ben said as he sprayed his fruity cologne onto his neck and couple of sprays on his body.

Callum coughed when he breathed in the chemicals.

“ Okay never mind Cal. Yous choking on cologne? “ Ben turned to him who was red from embarrassment and half suffocating. “ How did I ever get a boyfriend who is a muppet? “

“ You love me? “ Choked out the words. Callum had a wonky smile and recomposed himself and kissed his lover on the lips.

Ben scoffs. “ at least that is one benefit babe. “

“ so when are you goin’ then? “

“Don’t sound too pleased babe. “ Ben crosses his arms over his chest leaning against the sink with no negative body language radiating off his form.

“ Haha, Yeh I’m gunna ‘ave a great time! Me, Netflix and unhealthy food all to me self! “

“ Hmm and your beautiful, sexy boyfriend ain’t there to cuddle up to ya! “

“ what will I ever do now? You know I long for those beautiful lips against flushed skin. “

Ben burst out laughing. He couldn’t hold it in no longer at their ‘ banter conversation.’

“ I love you Highway. “

“ I always knew I was the Highway in your life. “

“ pfft fucking hell Callum. “

Callum grinned teasingly and pecked him a more sloppy kiss on the stubble cheek. “ You are the only man I have eyes for. “

“ Good. I ruined you for any bloke and you. are. all. mine. “ a kiss to every last word.

Callum bit back a dirty moan. “ you really have to go? “

Ben pulled back with a hum of acknowledgement. “ You know I ain’t seen me mates in years. “

Callum whined. “ You better make it up to me when you get back baby. “

“ I’ll do that tongue thing you like? “ Ben questioned, cocking an eyebrow of smugness. “ I n’ever have thought Callum Highway would be such a dirty minx! “

“ It’s what the Mitchell Foundation does to ‘ma. “

“ The Mi- The Mitchell Foundation? “ Ben repeated, astonished by what his soul mate even came out with. “ Oh no cal, I can’t believe you even thought of that! “

“ Mmmhmm. “

“ such a cute baby gay. “ Ben breathed out relaxed whilst checking the time on his wrist. “ The night ahead a waits unfortunately. “

“ Have a good time babe, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do. “

Ben huffed teasingly with sarcasm. “ what? Socialise? Do ‘crime’? Drink more than a beer full? “

“ Yeh I don’t miss you no more. “

Ben chuckled, wrapping his arms around his giant of a man and kissed him affectionately. They basically snogged and kissed and dirty moans till Ben dragged himself out of Callum.

“ Gotta go. “ a whine.

“ I’ll leave the door unlocked for ya. “

“ so considerate. “

“ That’s why I’m considered the nicer one out of the two of us. “

“ ...thanks cal....”

“ no problem babe. “

-

So the boozy night was going - meh. Ben used to be best of mates with his friends years ago, but since it’s been 7 years, since they have all grown older. They have also disconnected and drifted away from each other. It is awkward and they’re like a jigsaw that isn’t fitting together. Which is why Ben is standing at the too colourful bar, a beer in hand and texting his boyfriend in the other bored.

Till someone snipes his phone away and he is about to head punch the tosser for taking his phone.

“ Oi! Wut you think you’re doin’?! “ Ben angrily raises his voice putting his own property back into his bottom -safe.

The stranger laughs whilst fake surrounding. “ Yous got dirty stuff on there or something? “

“ Nah I ain’t and even I did ‘ave. it ain’t nowt to do with ya. “

“ oh come on Ben. “

“ ... oh did you? “

“ Charlie? “ Charlie states out, like it is obvious. “ The hookup from months ago? “

“ I don’t? “ Ben says confused and is cut off abruptly when Charlie lunges his hand into the front of Ben’s jeans.

“ - Get the fuck -“ Ben pushes the man backwards violently. “ you fucking stay away from me, you pervert! “

Charlie laughs amused. “ Yous never used to be this sensitive ben. “ he says knowingly.

Ben feels his chest tightening and hates to admit it but he’s scared. He feels exposed and horrible and he’s rushing off needing Callum till suddenly he is pushed in an empty bathroom.

“ Get off me! “ Ben tries to push the man off him. Anxiety. Anxiety. Anxiety. Too much pressure. Images of Stella abusing him. Phil attacking. It’s all too much. Foggy. Misty.

He never remembered this Charlie - being so so strong? When did Ben become so - weak?

“ I know you love rough Ben. “ Charlie says from the back of his throat. “ i don’t get why you’re acting so - touchy? “

Ben growls seething from anger and terror, pushing roughly at the man to get away. “ Because I ain’t available. “

“ When did the cheap Ben become faithful? “ Charlie laughs in his face. Ben bits back the hurt, feels the tears forming and he is scared of what could happen to him.

He just wants Callum.

“ get off me! “

Charlie ignores the increasingly distressed human and slides his hand down into Ben’s boxers again and fiddles with the non boner. The breath hitches in Ben’s throat, feeling nothing but panic. He digs his fingers into the man’s arm to get the grip away from his throat but nothings working.
His muscles are failing him and he feels like a little boy again but with a completely different scenario.

“Aw ain’t someone feeling it tonight? “ Charlie torments at Ben’s lack of activity in the south.

“ Please - please stop - don’t -“

Callum. I want Callum. Callum ain’t like this. He wants safe. He wants Callum.

“ Ben Mitchell begging? Hmm more like him now aren’t cha? “

“ Get off-off me! “ Ben growls one more time and Charlie stumbles into the toilets. Ben uses all the strength he has and wallops him one, making him fall the floor with a thump.

Ben legs it out of the nightclub. He doesn’t even think of his past mates. He runs and runs till he is in a badly lit alleyway and barely breathes. He can’t physically get his lungs to function again. He honestly thought- he really thought he was going to get -

He can’t even bring his brain to the concept of it.

Ben still feels that man’s hands on him. He still feels Charlie touching him where only Callum is meant to touch him. Where he is meant to feel safe and protected and loved but - Charlie’s wrecked that. Ben can’t stand it no more.

He just wants to go home.

-

Ben quietly walks into the dark flat feeling at his lowest. He slides the keys quietly onto the kitchen table unable to get his brain from not remising earlier events. He glances to the further away living room where the settee sits and there’s scattered beer cans and pizza boxers and bowls of chocolate ice cream been eaten.

The smallest and slightest smile spreads on Ben’s face. He can perfectly picture Callum munching away on unhealthy crap as he killed Zombies in a t-shirt and boxers on. But as fast as the image of Callum appears Charlie appears and Ben wants to rip his skin off.

Ben checks on Callum because he can. He just needs to know his love is safe and okay and asleep and he is okay. In a deep, undisturbed slump and Ben very gently places a kiss to Cal’s forehead. He brushes the loose hair from Callum’s full shut eyes and feels his heart contract when the unconscious man mumbles and shifts in his sleep.

Ben pulls away and goes into the bathroom, softly shuts the door and locks it. Then that is when all the paranoia sets the motions in check and Ben goes in a trance of getting undressed to go into the shower.

He is too exposed. What if people saw him being weak? Why is he so weak? Phil is right, has always been right, he ain’t a Mitchell. He is just a ponce. He couldn’t even get another bloke off him. He was all teary eyed and frightened and scared and he couldn’t even push the bloke off him? Bet Phil would be laughing at him, but Phil would give him the look of disappointment and not concern.

The freezing cold water splashes onto Ben’s shoulders. Ben bends his neck back to a far stretch letting the icy cold water freeze his goosebump skin. It feels good. He is too cold, his skin turning purple and he is too numb to feel anything.

Only, he still does. The sensation is still there and Ben hates it. Ben eventually gets out, tiredness overwhelming him and he slowly dries himself. He catches his reflection in the mirror and stares.

He looks - dead. He looks purple, a goo-y blue/purple and he somehow looks thinner but he looks the same. It is like Ben has aged 50 years yet reverted back 18years at the same time.

Ben gets his grey trackies and finds Callum’s oversized black hoodie. He feels safe, closer to Callum without the physical contact. He doesn’t want to be touched and that is more heart breaking than anything. He doesn’t want his beautiful, sincere boyfriend to even lay a finger on his body.

Ben lays further away from Callum in their bed, wrapping the thick quilt around himself unbothered about the still wet hair on the pillow.

Callum will hate that.

“ When did the cheap Ben become faithful? “ the words spin around in Ben’s head again. A broken record repeating and terrorising Ben like a personal bully only it’s his mind.

Callum shuffles and Ben stills. Callum reaches his arm out and wraps his arm around Ben’s waist and that panic settles again. Charlie’s hands on him again, suffocated, trapped, can’t move - please get off me!

Ben as gently - with shaking hands - as he could he pushes Callum off him. He doesn’t want to hurt Callum but - that panic is there and he really can’t stand any person touching him.

He’s wrecked. Broken. It’s all his fault ain’t it? Maybe Ben deserves this, after all the years of annoying people and being nasty and trying to act like the hard man. He is finally getting what he deserves and someone actually showed Ben how much he really is - pathetic.

-

Ben has always been a deep sleeper, sleeping in late ( till 9am) but since Lexi came into his life has only woken up till 08:30. The bonus of being deaf? He don’t hear anything so he can sleep longer.

Only this morning. Ben has woken up early, too early, 06:20. He kissed Callum a good morning and left the comfort of the bed into the lukewarm of the living room. The semi cold mug nested in his hands as he stared at nothing.

What if Callum don’t believe him? What if his boyfriend and the whole square think he is lying because he is always having hookups? What if Callum leaves him because he thinks Ben is cheating and has had enough of him? Phil will find more reason to hate him, Lola will stop Lexi from seeing her daddy because he is scum, jay won’t have the strength to cope with him.

Ben will be all alone. No one to comfort him, no one to support him - he’ll be alone again. Just a name, no solid family or friends to his name.

A no one.

That’s why Ben needs to be kept quiet. He can’t lose Callum, Lexi, Lola, Jay - his life in the square. Even when he bickers with people he at-least has someone there - he isn’t isolated.

“ Whah! “ Ben gasps, spilling the coffee all over the kitchen table. When Callum slid his hands around Ben’s waist to hug him. Who also looks as startled as Ben does.

“ Sorry! Sorry I didn’t mean to scare you Ben I just saw ya and I-“

Ben breaths deeply, trying calm himself down. Even now he is causing problems for his Callum. Ben reaches out and slides his arms around his waist, nestling his head into his chest. He is trying his hardest not to tense, he doesn’t understand why yesterday has worked him up like this? Is it like a electric wire, being stretched too much, being too frizzled and it just - snaps. All the electric explodes and becomes a mess? Is that what’s happened to Ben’s head?

“ m’sorry for scaring ya babe. “ Callum murmurs into Ben’s hair, rubbing his boyfriends back.

“ It’s fine. “ the words come out muffled.

“ You not hungover? “

“ no. I didn’t want to get drunk. “ just say it. Just say it. Just say it. Ben’s brain screams but he can’t, he can’t face the rejection, the loneliness.

“ I’m surprised really. “ Callum fondly says, pulling away to look properly at his boyfriend. Who looks up at him with such sadness and vulnerability but with so much love and pleading too. “ I thought you’d be sleeping the day away! “

Ben clears his throat. He feels indifferent. “ nah, didn’t feel like it. “

“ so come on, tell me! “

“ tell you what? “

Callum frowns slightly at him, confused by Ben’s lack of awareness. “ Last night? Was it shit or good? You was there last night weren’t cha? “ he fires question after question only in his usual dorky manner. “ You wasn’t off with another bloke. “ he jokes and fucking god that hurts Ben. Did he cheat? He let that bloke touch him, even when he tried pushing him away, he let another man touch him in the most private place. Ben feels the guilt trickling him and he can just see Callum’s face, full of betrayal and everyone else’s faces full of disappointment too.

Callum’s eyebrows frown even further, he digs his fingers int Ben’s biceps to bring him back to the present. Ben blinks a few times with a slight nod to the head bringing himself back to the present.

“ Yous okay? “

No. “ yeh fine. “

“ you can tell me anything Yeh? You know I was only joking. I know you love me. “ Callum assures him, whilst assuring himself too - hopes he isn’t being pushy or anything.

“ Of course I love ya. I’d never do anything like that. Ever. “ it feels dirty, especially when last night is in he front of his mind. “ think I just got a foggy brain that’s all. “

“ Hmm. You want some paracetamol? “

“ m’im be fine. “ Ben slightly slurs. “ I’m just gunna ‘ave a shower and head into ‘ork. “

“ you sure? “ Callum questions, cupping Ben’s stubbly jaw. “ You look ill. “

“ Must’ve caught a cold or something. “

“ I’ll get you some soups and stuff for ya. if you want? “

I don’t deserve you. “ That’ll be really good. “ Ben whispered, kissing the off side of Callum’s mouth before turning away go to into the bathroom. He completely misses the concerned look on Callum’s face.

-

Jay walks into The Maximum Motors lot and frowns at his brother who is starring blankly into thin air. He clicks his fingers in front of his brothers face who jumps with a fright with a slight gasp.

“ Yours on something brov? “ jay half jokes, tucking his hands into his work suit pockets.

Ben shifts, head down looking at the papers whilst glancing at jay for a nanosecond. “ No. “

“ I don’t believe ya Ben. “ Jay states. “ What happened last night? “

Ben’s chest tightens. ‘ i don’t get why you’re acting so - touchy? ‘ the flashback appears again and it feels like Charlie is right next to him again, feeling him, touching - hot, sickening breathe on him.

“ nowt happened. “ he says eventually, but his weak voice says otherwise.

“ Did you cheat on Callum or something? “

“ what? “

“ because you just so - guilty? I dunno how to explain it. Yous acting dead weird and even Cal has noticed. “

“ I haven’t - I haven’t cheated! “ Ben cried out, why does everyone think the worse of him? He has been the happiest man on earth, finally accepted himself fully and then - then last night had to happen -

“ then tell me what’s wrong Ben. “ jay softens, sitting down opposite him. “ You can tell me anything. You are my brother yeh? But Callum is my employee and mate, I want to help you both. “

“ I would never cheat on Callum. “ Ben argues, why can’t he see that?

“ Maybe not but you have cheated, you do have hookups and maybe the bloke didn’t mean -“

Ben flings up ignoring the chair falling backwards into the wall. He leans close to jay in a death cold stare.

“ I would never cheat on Callum. I l‘ove him. “

“ Ben I’m sor-“

Ben storms past him livid. He needs a drink.

-

Callum has been waiting patiently for Ben to talk to him. It’s been 3 weeks since Ben went out with his mates and since them he has been distant, drinking loads and - cold.

Callum has made hints and attempts for Ben to open up but nothing’s working, especially when Lola and Jay have told Callum - in not so many words - that maybe Ben had a drunken fling and is regretful. It doesn’t help the matter when Ben can’t even touch Callum.

Highway has never been sex mad, it’s not that important in a relationship, in his opinion, but 3 weeks without sex? A bit of a problem, he misses the intimacy between them, the closeness, the build up pressure of love and life. And it is more of a problem when Ben Mitchell don’t want any sex. Callum knows Ben loves sex, hell he’ll even do a blow job in Martins stall of vegetables ( mainly because Ben loathes Martin - “ anyone want any cummy carrots? “ Callum knows Ben would definitely say that ) and not care. So when Ben don’t want any sex at all, Callum is even more concerned.

Or is it him? Is he the problem? Because he is inexperienced maybe?

Callum is sitting at the settee waiting for Ben to come home. He knows he is meant to be dropping Lexi off with Lola and he’ll come here for tea and then sort out Lexi’s room for her to come tomorrow.

The door opens and suddenly Callum feels nervous. “ Alright? “ he calls out, standing up to greet his boyfriend who stumbles in slightly with a gruff.

“ Yeh. “ Ben grumbles, taking a large swing of his whiskey.

“ we need to talk. “

“ ugh. No - not today Cal. “

“ They were right weren’t they? “ Callum says quietly, somewhat believing it.

Ben slowly looks at him shocked by his boyfriends sudden vulnerability. He’s done this, again, he can’t do anything right can he? It would’ve been better if he died and not Paul.

“ who’s they? “

“ You ‘ave cheated haven’t ya? “

Ben lets his face fall, only, that slight loose of expression makes Callum angry. “ Get your stuff and get out. “

“ No Cal let me explain -“ Ben quickly covers. He can’t loose Callum, he can’t, he means half of the world to him as Lexi means to him.

“ No you cheated on me Ben! “ Callum shouts, livid, broken, betrayed. He storms past Ben knocking his shoulder and the Mitchell lad stumbles slightly with a wince of reminder.

Ben follows Callum into their bedroom packing all Ben’s shit up frantically. “ Callum please - please don’t believe them -“ Ben starts to softly cry. He grabs the half full bag of clothes and starts to take them out, like a little boy in a frantic state.

“ you have been drinking for weeks Ben! You ain’t had sex with me, you’ve been withdrawn - it’s either you don’t want me or you cheated on me! “

“ I never! I swear! “ Ben pulls Callum back with enough strength for the both of them to stare at each other.

“ so it’s me then? “ All the fight leaves Callum’s body.

“ No it ain’t. “ Ben breaks again, cupping Callum’s jaw. He gets them both to sit down on the double bed unable to meet Callum’s gaze. “ something happened in the nightclub. “

“ like what? “ Callum still has his defences up but now level headed.

“ A - a old hookup saw me. “ Ben takes a shaky breath. “ - he wouldn’t - he thought I was up for - for a fling. “ explains Ben uncomfortably. Callum still looks slightly confused but he just knows - deep down something worse happened.

“ he didn’t - he didn’t do anything did he? “ Callum questions scared, dread.

“ He touched me. “

“ ...where? “

“ in my pants. He did it tw-twice. “

“ Ben I’m so sorry -“

“ No don’t it ain’t your fault okay? “

“ But you managed to get away yeh? “

Ben nods his head slowly, blinking back the tears but two droplets fall onto their locked hands. “ Eventually. “

“ Why didn’t you not tell me? “ Callum tells him quietly, confused and full of sorrow.

“ Because I’m cheap aren’t I? “ Like it’s obvious. “ i thought no one would believe me, because I used to always do hookups and i just - I thought people would think I was being stupid and probably deserved it. “

“ You are stupid aren’t you? “ Callum says slowly, no heat or venom in his words. He cups Ben’s scruffy jaw and brings his head up to look at him through misty eyes. “ of course I’ll believe ya. Jay and Lola too - everyone would believe ya Ben.”

“ Maybe not everyone cal. They only put up with me because I’m with you. “

Callum licks his bottom lip and slightly shrugs. “ Even so, your family will believe you Ben. I definitely would, I would know 100% you wasn’t lying. I know you. “

“ I’m so sorry Callum. “ Like a dam Ben breaks, sobbing into Callum’s chest. The long rub of Ben’s back is a comfort and for once the touch of contact doesn’t immediately disgust Ben anymore. He feels - weirdly okay, but the slight panic still settles.

“ you ain’t got nowt to apologise for babe. I believe you, I’m sorry for shouting earlier. “

“ It’s fine. “

“ no it ain’t -“

Ben pulls back and watery smiles at his boyfriend squeezing their locked hands again. “ You have nothing to apologise for because you didn’t know what happened. “

“ You must’ve been so alone. “
Callum comments upset.

“ I still had you and lex - even when - even when I was at my lowest. “

Callum tucks his boyfriend back into his embrace and hugs him needing to protect him. “ I love you Ben. You are it for me okay? I don’t want you keeping anything else from me. “

“ I promise. “ Ben’s words are muffled, tucking himself further into his boyfriend needing the safety blanket.

“ You ain’t -“

“ I’m being honest. I was - I was scared ya know? I was just - in a whirlwind of emotions and insecurities but - I am - I’m okay. “

Callum pressed a kiss to his head. “ Whatever you need I’m here okay? Don’t be afraid to ask for help, especially from me. “

“ you’re all I need right now. “

Chapter Text

Ben shifted in the bed. The warm comfort of his boyfriend sleeping soulfully in an angelic way. Ben presses his lips against Callum’s cheek gently before snuggling back into the warm covers to try to get back to sleep. However, Callum started to whimper and slur words which weren’t audible.

“ nn’oo. Please..not again... dad..don’t hurt...no...”

It broke Ben’s heart. He rested his hand on Cal’s shoulder and shook him without any sudden force. To coax him out of his nightmare yet it didn’t work and by the second Callum was getting worse.

“ Dad no it hurts. Please... please don’t hurt me...I’m scared...” Callum started to shake more furiously now, coming in a cold sweat with tears slipping from the corner of his eyes.

Ben quickly got a warm, wet flannel and brought it back to Callum’s face and naked front. He knew from experience when himself had nightmares ( about Paul, Stella, Callum getting hurt/Lexi, Phil - ) having a flannel put to his skin kinda helps. So he hopes it is helping Callum too.

“ DAD NOOOO! “ Callum bolted up with a gasp, heart hammering, legs losing function. Ben’s own heart hammering from the utter shock, unexpected.

“ baby it’s okay, it just a nightmare. “ Soothed Ben, running his fingers through Callum’s sweaty hair taking it away from his forehead in the process.

Callum still breathing heavily, eyes unfocused and unaware of his surroundings. “ Dad-Dad- please-“ He panted, begged.

“ He ain’t ‘ere. It’s just you and me baby. “

Callum slowly brought his head up to look at the man and found indeed its Ben. Callum broke out into an relieved expression, still panting but he don’t look so scared no more.

“ Ben. “

Ben smiled, showing no teeth. “Yeh it’s me babe. You okay? “

“ It was - it was nothing. “ Callum lied, voice becoming normal again and his breathing in the correct rhythm again.

“ You had a nightmare and a panic attack Cal. “ Ben pointed out bluntly. “ You ain’t okay. “

Callum groaned slightly. “ it’s just me - me dad that’all. “

Ben tilted his head to the left side still stroking Callum’s arm to guard him. “ You know you’ll have to talk about ‘him eventually. “

“ I don’t - I don’t know where to start. “ he said helplessly.

“ I was the same remember? But you helped me talk ‘bout Phil and Stella. “

Callum adverted his gaze to the bed sheets and traced random shapes on Ben’s thigh. “ Can I - can I have some water first? “

“ sure babe. “ Ben agreed. “ I’ll be straight back Yeh? “ Callum nodded still not looking at Ben but who pecked his head anyway.

Callum takes a large gulp full of his water when Ben returned. It was comforting, a cold icy liquid running down his throat. To have his lover next to him touching him, to have his gaze on him observing his every move. Which was a bit off putting but Callum knows Ben is only deeply concerned ‘bout him and is only protective of him.

“ Dad was abusive to me and Stu, but mainly to me. “ Cal started off, his voice low, a unexplained emotion in his voice now. Ben can’t tell what name it is.

“ What did he use to do? “ Ben treaded carefully. He wasn’t touching Callum now, knowing it can cause an accidental trigger. Like when Cal rested his hand on Ben’s thigh one nightmare night and Ben jumped with a flinch remembering Stella hitting him. Callum was so painfully apologetic it hurt Ben more, knowing how sorry he was.

Callum huffed, or well, breathed out deeply. “ What if you get triggered? “

“ Don’t mean you can’t tell me ‘bout your abuse too Cal. I’ve coped with my shit but I could always get triggered by my abuse anyway. “

“ It’s - errr - he would h-hit me.”

Ben nodded, eyebrows knitting together slightly. “ All the time?”

A shake of the head. “ no. When I’m - no when he was angry. Which was often. But he would kick me, push me, punch me, throw me ‘round the ‘oom, throw furniture at me or knock me unconscious. “

“ Would he cause bruising? “

“ all the time. “ Callum informed.” Sometimes I couldn’t even walk or move. “

“ didn’t your school or teachers notice? “

Callum shook his head. “ I always had to - to put make up on. To cover it. “

Ben bit back the smirk. He was never good at fragile moments really, always had to make a joke or laugh or something but - this is Callum. He can’t laugh at him, because he loves him, he’ll stay up all night to listen to Callum.

“ And your dad never found out?”

“ no. Thankfully. “

“ Didn’t Stuart help ya? “

“ He took the beatings for me. But because I never or couldn’t fight back - I was the weaker link. Dad hurt me more, tormented me more. “

“ cal I’m so sorry. “

Callum shrugged, a sad smile on his face. “ its okay. The physical abuse was more welcoming after a while. “

“ why? “

“ because it was better to cope with things. I found it - comforting, but the emotional and the neglect was as bad too.”

“ did he never feed you or Stuart? “

Callum slumped back, taking Ben with him and cuddled him. They linked their hands together and draped the quilt over them both again.

“ when he wanted too. Which was hardly ever. Stuart got a job, after and before school. That gave us some food but - not a lot. “

“ didn’t your dad work? “

“ he was on benefits. “ Callum replied. “ and that went on booze, gambling and the tv. “

“ fucking hell. “ Breathed out.

“ we were so cold. “ Callum huffed out a chuckle. “ Maybe that’s why we were the skinniest in school. “

“ And yet? No one noticed? “

Callum shrugged. “ A few teachers asked questions, but we always said we couldn’t put weight on. “

“ why didn’t you just tell them the truth? “ Ben asked another question curious, hoping he isn’t being judgmental.

“ Because Dad was all we had. Mum fucked off, had no other family and he was all we had. When he weren’t drinking or gambling he was okay. “

Ben rubbed Callum’s stomach up to his chest and back down again. “ Stuart was all you had?”

“ Basically. “ Callum sighed. “ We hardly had any mates. Dad wouldn’t let us out of the ‘ouse. He controlled us both but - its ‘eird ‘cos he let Stu out to get a job. “

“ You think he had favouritism then? “

“ I don’t want to say yeh but - a tiny bit more. dad always hurt me that tiny bit more, always humiliated me, always abused me more. “

Ben didn’t say anything. He didn’t know what to say really. Instead, he pressed a kiss to Callum’s skin and wrapped his arms around Callum’s waist more.

“ Did he ever leave any scars? “ Ben knows there are some on Callum’s body but he didn’t know if it was from the army or his lunatic dad.

Callum played with Ben’s hair as he spoke. “ Some. They’re barely noticeable now. “

“ I’ve got more reason to hate him now. “

“ He ain’t worth your hate Ben. Me and Stu learned to move on but - it gets to us sometimes. “

“ Wait what happened to him when you went to the army? “

“ He carried on with the job but full time. Barely at dads and he got himself a flat. “

“ how long were you in the army for? “

“ 4/5 years. “

“ and was that better or worse?”

“ In-between. I got picked on, carried on carrying with my sexuality, had few crushes. Then after that I went back to Stu’s and lived at his for a while.”

Ben shifted up and straddled his soulmates waist and kissed him on the lips. “ I’m proud of ya, even more now. “

Cal blushed. “ nowt to be proud of. “

“ You escaped ya abusive dad. I can’t believe I’m sayin’ this but - I’m glad your bald headed freak of a brother was there to protect ya. “

“ He does have a weird way of lovin’ people. “

“ hmm’ Glad you didn’t turn out like ‘im or ya dad. “

“ Sometimes I worry I’m like him.”

“ And I’m innocent. “ Ben scoffed. “ You’re nowt like them. Okay? You’re sweet, innocent and naive. That’s why I fell in love with ya. “

A small smile spreads on Callum’s face. “ You’re nice too Ben. You should give yourself more credit. “

“ oh yeh that reminds me. I need to sort out some more deals tomorrow. “ Ben mainly said to himself. Callum give him a look ‘really? ‘ “ Im trying to baby. You and lex make me want to be a better man. “

Callum leaned forward and pecked Ben’s lips, then started slowly kissing messily. “ I love you. “

“ I love you too. “

“ I want to go to sleep now. “ He whispered.

Ben pressed one last kiss to Callum’s lips and both snuggled back down into the bed. They cuddled and Ben rested his head on Callum’s pillow.

“ You know Whatever you want to talk about - I’m ‘ere you know? “ Ben whispered.

“ I know. “

Chapter Text

“ OH MY GOOOODDD!! “ Callum screamed in joy and utter disbelief. He rocked Ben awake who was snoring softly. Who also grumbled in his slumber.

“ M’what? “

“ I’m a billionaire! “ Callum screeched.

“ Ya what? “ Ben is more alert now.

“ Ben! “ Callum rocked him awake again.

“ if you rock me one more fucking time -“ Ben threatened.

“ I am a billionaire! “ Callum repeats.

Ben sat up and rubbed his eyes then putting his glasses on. “ Why you a billionaire? “

“ my great granddad - who I didn’t have a clue existed- died and he’s given me all his money!”

Ben’s eyebrows shot up. “ Fucking hell. “

“ apparently he didn’t want anything to do with Jonno and he always thought I was better one out of Stu and dad. “

“ Well aren’t cha a lucky bastard? “ Ben joked.

Callum grinned x1000 more than he already was. “ I know! “

And looks like by the way he completely dismissed the way his own brother hasn’t got a penny. Means he is too happy and fucking amazed to use his gentle heart thoughtfully.

Callum gasps, eyes side and kneels on the bed. He genuinely looks like a little kid. “ I can move away! I can get a nice ‘ouse in London, never work again- “ and as he gambled on about his dreams Ben felt his heart crunch with fear. Callum moving away from Walford, leaving him, for a better life.

Leaving Ben in gritty old Walford. Too common and criminal for Callum now. Callum will find a better man than him now, he’ll get a better life, someone worthy. Who ain’t Ben.

And what really surprised Ben with Callum’s continuity. “ You and lex can move in with me? You and lex and me over lookin’ London! “

“ really? “ Ben let out, genuinely shocked.

Cal frowned at him confused. “ yeh? We are together aren’t we?” A little hesitation in his voice.

“ Y-Yeh of course we are babe but I just thought- with you bein’ rich. You’ll fuck off and find ya’self a better bloke. That all. “

“ Oohh Ben. “ Callum whispered, sad. He shuffled closer to Ben and kissed him repeatedly on the lips and slid his hands around his boyfriend waist. “ You muppet. I love ya. I love lex too, I’ll never ‘eave ya both becos I’m rich. “

“ promise? “ Ben fiddled with Cal’s fingers feeling insecure.

“ I promise baby. I’ll rather have no money than lose you both. “

Ben huffed with a small smile. “ I love you and I wouldn’t let cha leave us anyway. “

“ haha. I wouldn’t leave you because i know you’ll hunt me down and drag me back ‘ere. “ Highway joked.

“Damm you right! Ain’t no man takin’ you from me. “

“ I wouldn’t dream of it Mr Mitchell. “ Callum whispered against Ben’s lips.

“ hmm Mr Mitchell now is it? “

“ Shut up. “ Without any heat behind his words and he kissed Ben sound fully till Ben broke the kiss with a smirk.

“ always wanted to date a billionaire. “

Chapter Text

Ben clapped his hands together to wake Callum up. Ben straddled Callum’s waist ( when he pushed him onto his back ) and massaged Callum’s shoulders.

“ M’what yuw doin’? “ Callum sleepily asked.

Ben tilted his head to the left side slightly, eyes shining with full of mischief. That is so Ben Mitchell. “ Well honey I’m waking ya up. “

“ Yeh why? “ Callum yawned, slightly loudly before rolling his head back into the pillow to catch sleep.

Only -

Ben started to kiss Callum’s face and it felt too good and - big Callum was now awake sooo-. “ It’s the 5th of June today. “

“ you don’t say. “ Callum sarcastically comments.

“ It’s pride. “

“ M’yeh. “ another yawn.

Ben gets the feeling he ain’t listening to him. Maybe because Callum isn’t a morning person now. Ben wrecked that for him. Callum used to always wake up around half 6 in the morning, get dressed ( or stay in pjs temporary ), have breakfast and then get set for work. Since him and Ben become official ( 7 months ago ) Ben kept Callum in bed, kept him sleeping and slowly ( and deadly ) made Callum become a not So morning person no more.

“ Babe you want breakfast first? Or an extra waking up? “ Ben wiggled his eyebrows, a lustful glint in his eye and he started rubbing down to Callum’s crotch, dangerously close to the boner.

Callum smirked, he kissed Ben on the lips, then tongue, then messily wet and pulled back.
“ You’re doing the work then babe. “

Ben pouts. “ lazy baby. “

“ Says you, hypocrite. “

“ It was one time! “

“ Yeh Ben one time too many! “

“ Fine. “ Ben huffs, without any real heat in his words. He kissed his beautiful boyfriend again and slid down his long, lanky body.

-

Callum got the too flipping boiling hot bowl out of the microwave. Ben chuckled at his boyfriend flapping his hands about from the devil touch.

“ Yeh Cal, you meant to wear gloves or somethin’? “

Callum turned to him, face full of sarcasm. “ You don’t say Ben? “

“ ... yeh Cal. Hence why I said it...”

Callum turned back to his fruits and oats and muttered ‘cheeky bastard. ‘ Ben smirked widened and back hugged him, plonking a purple grape in his mouth.

“ I’ll never know how you find this nice babe. “

“ It’s called healthy. “ Callum jabbed Ben’s stomach in a teasing way.

“ Oi! “ Ben nuzzled his face in Callum’s shoulder, letting his hands wonder against the front of Callum’s front. “ You said you’ve always liked my bit of a dad bod! “

“ I do baby. “ Callum softly replied, turning in Ben’s embrace and kissed him.

“ Love you. “ Ben replied instead of a Ben Mitchell comment.

“ You too. “ Callum pressed a kiss to Ben’s lips again before getting a fat, juicy grape and pressing it against Ben’s lips. Basically feeding him before going back to his lukewarm oats/porridge again.

“ Prides today. “

“ oh yeh? “

And that’s when it kinda hit Ben. Callum didn’t tense, there wasn’t a delay in his reply, no hesitation. He was - fine, okay - normal even. Ben didn’t know what he was expecting, maybe the Callum from 11months ago to appear. That he still felt fear about being gay and out and proud.

“ Hmm. Thinking we should go?”

“ In London is it? Or somewhere tiny bit out? “

“ In-between. “

“ Yeh fine. “ Callum agreed with a spoonful of porridge and fruits entering his mouth.

“ you 100% okay going? “ Ben asked, slightly worried. He didn’t knowledge that he was still running his hands up and down Callum’s sides.

Callum choked out a cute laugh. “ yes Ben. I know I used to be a baby gay -“ Ben smiled, a slight chuckle remembering that day in The Vic. “- but I’m proud. I’m proud of yuw, I’m proud of me, I’m proud I’m in a m/m relationship. That I can show I love cock and nowt else. “

“ that’s the spirit babe. “ Ben loved the way Callum expressed his reply. It made Ben feel proud too, proud of his once closeted, scared baby gay.

“ seriously though, I am proud of you. “ Ben sounded serious.

“ I know you are. “ Callum nodded, blushing slightly. “ I always see the pride in yuw face when you look at me. “

“ It’s because I am Cal. So incredibly proud of my baby gay, now you are a cute gay. “

Callum laughed into his spoon.
“ Oh my days. “

Ben played dumb. “ whaat? “

“ Nothing. Nothing. It’s just - love yuw so much. “ Callum spoke through a half full mouth.

“ You and me both. “ Ben kissed him on the corner of his cute gays mouth. He took Cal’s spoon off him and took a spoonful of his breakfast and tried some.

“ thats Alright to be fair. “

“ told yuw. I’m always right I am.”

“ yeh alright cocky. “

“ well I know something cocky I want wrap my mouth about. “

“ I’ve actually created a monster. I’ve genuinely ruined your innocence. “

-

“ You okay baby? “ Ben murmured to his daughter, whilst all 3 of them walked hands in hands along to the train station.

“ yes dad! I can’t wait to go to pride! “ Lexi enthusiastically told her dad.

“ it’s gunna be filled with glitter and rainbows innit sweetheart?” Callum added, running his free hand through the girls blonde hair.

Ben and Callum chuckled at the 7 year olds eyes light up like a flame. “ Glitter!? “ she jumped.

“ Oh no. “ Ben teased, knowing what’s going to happen. “ You ain’t gunna get covered in glitter again princess. “

“ But daaad. “ Lexi froze on the vowel for a short time, sounding disappointed.

“ Lex, yuw already got glitter on yuw Yeh? Also, when yuw had glitter Ben was covered in it. “ Callum started laughing at the Ben to the end part of the memory.

Ben shot his boyfriend a disapproving stare. “ That took months to get rid of it. “

“ but you was a sparkly rainbow! “ Lexi prompted with a whine.

“ well I weren’t so sparkly when I couldn’t get it off me. “

Callum snorted. Lexi smirked, which was terrifying like Ben.
“ Dad you was like a unicorn! You looked beut-if-ul!! “

“ Princess, I’m always beautiful. I don’t need no glitter to highlight that. “ Ben smugly stated.

Callum carried on looking ahead as he said his peace. “ says the man who’s currently wearing glitter and does ‘beautiful’ in the mirror with products, when it’s meant to come naturally? Sure Ben. “

Lexi laughed out loud. Whilst Ben shot him a death glare. He’s gonna pay for that.

-

Lexi gasped dramatically. “ Look at all the colourful rainbows! “

“ And the hearts and drag queens! “ Callum added, amazed. This is his first time going to pride and he’s got to admit, it is a bit overwhelming but so overwhelming in a good way too.

Ben came back from the bar and gave Callum a larger and Lexi her orange juice. Ben sipped from his plastic beer cup and looked around the heaving streets.

“ so what do we do dad? “ Lexi asked him, looking up as he shrugged without any negativity.

“ We ‘ave fun princess. “

“ Lets sing our ‘earts out. “ Callum grinned.

“ that’s the spirit babe. “ Ben pecked him on the cheek. When Lexi and Callum were about to walk away Ben gripped hold of Cal’s hand and looked him dead in the eye. “ You okay? This ain’t too much? “ he worried.

Callum gave him a truthful smile. “ I am more than fine. Yeh it’s bit overwhelming but - I already feel like I fit in. “

Ben looked like he was about to cry. “ I’m proud of ya, I really am, that you’ve found somewhere you belong in. “

Callum wetly chuckled not wanting to get emotional. “ Come on then! “

Ben locked their hands together as they walked through the jam packed crowds of people. The big LGBT+ flags, the rainbows, love hearts, posters - all different kinds of sexualities and genders. This is where they belong, this is why Ben loves pride. Whatever you are, wherever you are - pride is always there for you.

-

The three amigos collapsed onto the sofa at the Beale’s house. They have finally got back home after a very productive day, their ears ringing from the booming music, their heads fuzzy from the excitement and dancing and singing and drinking ( for Callum and Ben ).

Now they sat slump on the sofa unable to move. Lexi tucked in the middle of her two daddies, who has fallen asleep. The glitter on her face even messier and love hearts still in place.

“ It was amazing wasn’t it? “ Callum murmured, eyes closed exhausted.

“ Hmm. It was somehow even livelier than last year. “ Ben explained. He tucked the rainbow rose from under him and chucked it onto the coffee table.

“ I want to go back. “

“ Well there’s always more pride Cal. “

Callum hummed in response getting the photo booth images of them three ( with couple of pictures with drag queens too ) and gazed at them.

“ We look ‘appy ‘ere don’t we? “

“ Like life ain’t got nowt on us. “ Ben said softly, relaxed., feeling the best he has ever felt.

“ I think we could enlarge ‘em and photo frame them? “

“ That’ll be perfect. “ Ben agreed, pecking his boyfriend on the lips then cheek before groaning loudly and pulling himself up from the sofa. “ Come on. Think we need a early night. “ he rhetorically said, picking up his daughter and carrying her to her room. With Callum following.

With Lexi all warm and asleep in her own bed. Ben gets himself unchanged and gets into bed with Callum, they cuddle. The usual position, Callum on his left side with Ben’s legs in the V of his boyfriends legs and arms and hands locked.

“ You had a good time then? “ Ben asked him in the darkness of the bedroom, like a protective blanket.

“ The best. “ Callum murmured against the shared pillow.

“ Don’t think I’ve seen you so ridiculously happy. “

Callum chuckled. “ today was - perfect, for many reasons and today - I really let me ‘air down.”

“ Proud of you, don’t think I’ll ever not be proud of you. “

Callum sleepily hummed. He slowly kissed Ben again before dropping his head further into the pillow, leaning his forehead against Ben’s.

Belonging somewhere is the most luscious feeling in the entire universe.

Chapter Text

Callum strokes his golden retriever’s head whilst watching one of his box sets. The pizza box, Pepperoni, sits on his lap whilst his cup of tea is on the coffee table. Callum’s got to admit, he loves this, just him and his dog whilst munching his way through pizza and unhealthy shit whilst watching his boxsets.

He loves doing this with Ben too, only, Alfie ( the dog ) doesn’t like Ben and Callum doesn’t want to get rid of Alfie. So, they had to change plans sometimes. Which was a shame but Ben was supposed to come home 20 minutes ago and there ain’t no sign of him.

Callum 19:43 - Where are u?

And nearly immediately later the reply comes back.
Callum pats away Alfie’s breathe on the half eaten pizza.

Ben 19:44 - Gettin food x

Callum 19:44 - already got some?

Ben 19:45 - both of us know that pizza has 3 slices left....

Callum sends his boyfriend an emoji and sighs. Alfie sits up ( making sure to sit up whilst pressing his whole bod against Callum’s left side ) and licks Callum’s neck and face.

“ Alfie.” Laughs Cal, stroking his dog whilst he licks away. He grabs Alfie’s face ( without any pressure ) and looks him dead in the eye but can’t help the smirk as Alfie licks his hands.

“ Yew gunna be good yeh? Don’t be a prick to Ben. “ Alfie barks. Callum winces from the ringing in his ears. “ I know yew don’t like him but I do so please- just don’t be a tosser Yeh? “

Bark. Bark.

“ For fucks - “

“ Honey I’m ho-me!! “ Ben sings along closing the front door and walking into the living room with a bag of food and a large dominos box of pizza in his other free hand. Callum grins at him, his eyes lightening up. He stands up and pecks his boyfriend’s cheek then lips and gets the bag of food.

“ what yew got? “

“ well you have to look Cal. “ Ben bluntly states, smirking. He stands behind him, pushing his crotch into Highways bum.

“ I want us to binge watch telly and eat our bodyweight in food and alcohol. “

“ Hmm love our binge sessions.” Callum turns in his embrace and slaps his arms around Ben’s waist kissing his neck.

“ Looks like you’ve already started without me. “ Ben half moans, voice turning dark with lust. He rubs Callum’s stomach whilst stretching his head back making more room for Callum to suck his neck.

“ You taste so good babe. “ Callum nips the red skin between his teeth.

“ Fuckin’ hell Cal - if you carry on talking like that -“ Ben’s sentence is cut off by a humongous moan. Callum sucked hard and wet against Ben’s neck, the blood coming to the surface. Callum gripped his boyfriends hips and pushed his massive turn on into Ben’s full on too.

Callum finally pulls away, stops being a leech and smirks at Mitchell looking spaced out. Ben is breathless and half sweating and wow - Callum is a little minx.

“ That’s just a introduction into what I’m gunna so to yew after.”

Ben makes a wild noise in his throat and his banana shaped harden twitches. “ Callum! “ Ben moans, feels Callum’s hand on him ( yet they’re not ), his brain currently in his cock and all he he wants his Callum’s hands on his skin, cock to cock, skin to skin, mouth to mouth - you get the jist.

“ P-pleeasee babe -“ Whines Ben, clutching the grey t-shirt and sliding his hands down into Cal’s jeans.

“ You have to earn it. “

“ Nooooo -“

Callum giggled at his whining boyfriend. Till, Alfie came along and jumped up to hug Callum licking him.

“ We’ve got all night babe. “ Callum told him, reminding him that they’re adults and don’t have to go to bed at 9pm.

“ But I need you now -“ Ben sucked on Callum’s neck, before pressing deep wet kisses along the collarbone and up to the jaw.

“ Mmm I want you too baby but just wait - we don’t always have to rush into sex. “

Ben huffs, defeating and reluctantly accepting Callum’s decision, not pushing him into sex if he doesn’t want it right now.

“ Fine but you owe me Highway.” Ben weakly jabs at Callum’s chest kissing him on the lips again.

“ I’ll be the best Highway in yew life. “

“ Pfft. Stop with the puns. “

“ I actually fancy a hot cross pun. “

“ Muppet. “

“ I’m 1 episode in prison break. “

“ Cal! “

“ Well yew should’ve been faster! “

“ But -“

“ and it -“

“ No spoilers! “

“ fine. “

“ findy dandy. “

Alfie moved and sniffed Ben before nibbling on him. “ Your dog hates me that much he wants to eat me. “ Ben deadpans with fake hurt. Callum laughs and picks the medium sized dog and cuddles him whilst pressing kisses to the dogs head.

“ Well I love ya and I still want to eat you out. “

Ben smiled without showing his teeth and pressed a kiss to Callum’s head before sensitively stroking the top of Alfie’s head. The dog looked at him like to say ‘ you carry on and I’ll eat your hand ‘ so Ben made a face and walked to the sofa.

“ Babe I’ll never know how you eat so much yet gain hardly any weight. “ Ben comments in disbelief looking at the now empty pizza box that was already there. The other foods half eaten too.

Callum joins his boyfriend on the sofa and cuddles into his side with Alfie resting his head on Callum’s upper thigh.

“ Like - If I ate the same as you I’ll gain 2/4 pounds by tomorrow.” Ben carries on to say, in jealousy?

“ Well I’m taller aren’t I? So you would barley notice but yew? You’re a shortie. “ As he bites into the pizza slice.

“ Well you wasn’t saying that last night. “ Ben replied smugly, as well tucking into the pizza.

Callum gives the crust to Alfie.
“ Just because Big Ben is large don’t mean you are tall. “

“ you really know how to make a man ‘appy ay? “

Callum looked at his boyfriend and cheekily grinned pressing a kiss to his lips. “ We gunna watch his then? “

Ben sighed. “ You’re 1 ep in. I’ll miss the continuity. “

“ Don’t matter. “ he shrugs.

“ But it does -“

“ Fine. We’ll watch the first ep then first. “ Callum puts on the first episode. When the show starts Callum lowers his head to Alfie’s level making sure Ben can hear him.

“ No wonder yew don’t like him.”

“ oi! “ Ben swatted Callum’s arm offended. “ I’m a joy to watch telly with! “

“ Sure. “

“ I am! “

“ Of course Ben. “

“ Callum! “

“ Babe you are a joy to watch telly with. Every time i get the chance to binge watch with yew. I want to scream in excitement.” Callum sarcastically told him, opting for the most serious voice he can do.

“ Muppet. “

“ you love me though. “

“ Do I love ya? Yes. Do I like ya? Datable. “

Callum tickled Ben’s side. “ Cheeky! “

“ Haha - no cal stop -“ Ben wheezed from the astonishing tickling. He can’t breathe.

“ Say I’m the best boyfriend ever. “

Alfie jumped on Ben too licking him to death. Ben is pretty sure he’ll die of suffocation.

“ Your - your the best boyfriend ever -“

Callum stops pleased and pressed a kiss to his forehead as Alfie gives one final lick to Ben’s face and goes back to Callum.

“ good. “

“ Oh my god I can’t breathe-“

“ Ohhhh I love this bit! “ Callum screeched at the scene on the telly ignoring Ben gasp for breath. “ shh babe you’re missing it. “

Ben got his own revenge afterwards.

-

When Ben woke up. He was alone. Which was a shame because he wanted lazy sex. He got up nevertheless and stretched making a little groan and putting his airaids in and glasses on.

He hears Callum talking to Alfie and he stills for a moment just hearing his dorkable boyfriend talking to a animal. Who can speak back. That’s one out of million reasons why he loves Callum, always communicating with the dog and treats him like a human.

Callum is gold. Ben has found the rarest type of precious gold.

Ben makes his way to the living room and Alfie and Cal sit on the sofa with Highway feeding Alfie crusts of bread.

“ You two look so cute like that. “

“ I was gunna bring breakfast to ya in bed. “ Callum comments, pressing a kiss to Ben’s lips. “ mornin’.” He whispers against his lips and Ben does the same.

“. Now you’ll have to make breakfast for me now. “

“ Mmm. Pancakes with chocolate and strawberries with raspberries? “

“ perfect. “

Callum just looks calm and loved up. “ I’ll make them from scratch then. “ and gets up to get the ingredients and equipment out as Ben Alfie; Alfie follow suit. “ Why don’t u use ready made pancakes? It’s much more easier Cal. “ “ But homemade is always better babe! “ As he gets out the liquids to make the pancake. He gives Alfie a quick stroke as he starts the gas on the cooker. Ben props himself onto the counter and observes his boyfriend cooking. “ I love watching you cook. “ “ Why? “ without any judgement or confusion in his voice. “ because you look dead fit, especially when you bend down - whoah!!! “ “ you’re not too bad ya self babe. “ He flips the pancake over.

“ Well Yeh because I’m the sex god -“ Ben supposes. “ - but you look sexy everyday. You don’t need sex when you have a model of a boyfriend. “

Calum fake gasps at the confession whilst putting a second pancake into the boiling pan. “ Did Ben Mitchell just say he don’t need sex? Who are you and what you done with sex addict Ben Mitchell? “

“ haha very funny. “

“ S’true. “

“Hmm. “ Ben jumps off the counter and presses a kiss to Callum’s neck. “ I love you. “

“ I love you too and Alfie is a close first. “

“ You and that bloody dog. “

“ actually-“ Callum cocks his head to the side and smiles mischiefly.

“ -oh no -“ Ben knows that face.

“ - you can take Alfie on a walk. “

“ ...no Cal ...”

“ bonding session. “

“ i dont want to go out! I’m warm and -“

“ Well I’ll warm ya up when you comeback. “

“ We need to practice on your flirtatious skills.”

“ OKay we work on that and you 2 bond then? “

Ben’s huffs, rolls his eyes, does a shift. “Fine. “

“ good boy. “

Ben just laughs at him beforehand giving him a kiss and reluctantly getting changed.

-

“ Never again!!!! “

“Ohno. “ Callum mutters to himself, hearing his partner practicality scream in furry.

“ That fucking dog needs to fuck off! “ Ben storms into the living room covered in mud. “ Don't you dare laugh! “ he points his finger in Callum’s direction.

“ what happened? Wheres Alfie? “ Callum asks two questions at the same time worried.

“ I’ve left him with mum after she took a solid 5 minutes hysterically laughing at me. “

“ How did -“

“ Alfie HATES ME! He was runnin’ around and when I tried putting him on the lead he ran off making me slide through the mud!! “

Snorts. Laughs. Fucking hell he wished he went.

“ Is he okay? “

“ Yes he’s bloody okay! “ Ben snaps, taking off his jumper and jeans. “ I’m freezing cold, im dirty and hungry and I haven’t even had a blowjob. “ he rants.

“ Babe stop overreacting-“ “ CAllUM! I’m soaked through with mud! Me mum has to wash that bloody dog and I looked like a right idiot! “ “ But yew already like that? “ Ben stared at him not amused. Callum slightly huffs and tuts walking to his dramatic boyfriend and pressing a kiss to his lips. He brushes away the fringe that is matted to the dirty forehead and sighs softly. “ You still look hot. “ “ You got a mud kink or something? “ “ no. I have a Ben Mitchell kink. “ Ben huffed a laugh. Only Callum Highway ( and Lexi ) would make any situation better. When Ben feels humiliated. “ Love you. Even that bloody dog too. “ “ well we come as a package don’t we? “ Ben dropped a wet kiss to Callum’s face making sure to spread the mud onto Highways face. “ Err! Ben! “ Mmmm. “ Evil laugh. “ Deserve It Highway. “ “ Get in that shower. “ Callum said from the back of his throat harshly pressing lips together and getting a generous hand full of bens arse in his hands whilst pushing the Mitchell lad into his body more. The next water bill will be twice the price for this month

Chapter Text

Ben took a swig of his beer and snuggled back into Callum’s side again. He wrapped his left arm around his husbands waist and rested his head on his chest as they watched the television.

“ See? I don’t get that at all. “

“ what don’t you get babe? “ Ben replied, his eyes not missing the drama unfolding on the telly.

“ why would you tell someone yew loved ‘em but then shag someone else afterwards?”

( Not at all thinking he did the same to Whitney years ago....)

“ Because they’re cheaters aren’t they? And are scum. “

“ Yew but -“

Knock knock. “ someone’s at the door. “ Groaned Ben, pushing his head further into Cal’s chest.

“ go get it then lazy. “

“ Don’t wanna. I’m comfy. “

And the person carried on knocking on their door. “ God they’re persistent aren’t they? “ he grumbled and pulled himself off the sofa to tell whoever to fuck off.

“ Yeh? “ Callum announced when he opened the front door to the boy standing on the doorstep nervously.

“ H-hi is - er- James in? “

Callum frowned. “ Yeh. Who are yew? “

“ who is it Cal!? “ Ben called from the living room.

“ someone asking for James. “ Called back Callum and turning his attention back to the lad. “ You one of James’s mates?“

The boy shifted anxiously. “ Y-Yeh. “ he then shifted his gaze to Ben walking behind Callum and putting his hand onto his shoulder.

“ We’ve never seen yuw before.” Ben’s suspicions are up.

“ Well no -“

Callum huffs. “ Come in and I’ll get James. “ he walks up the stairs without saying anything further. Ben closes the door and crosses his arms over his chest judging this lad.

“ What’s your name? “

“ Brad. “

Ben nods, still slightly frowning at him. “ Why you never made yourself known before then? “

“ wut you mean? “

“ it means why you never come ‘ere before. All of James’s mates come here or something. “

“ Well I -“

“ Why the fuck are you ‘ere? “ James fumes, storming down the stairs. Ben reacts quickly getting between them both seeing the fire in his sons eyes.

“ just calm down. “ Callum pulls him back, shocked at the furry his son is in.

“ James I’m sorry! “ Brad cries.

“ What’s he sorry for? “ Ben sounds like he is about to kill brad.

“ He’s the one who picked on me kissin’ me mate! “

A dark mist covers Ben’s eyes and Callum is about to throw this Brad out on his arse. “ And now you came ‘ere?? “ Ben snaps at him, standing straighter making himself look stronger.

Brad is like a deer caught in the headlights. “ I - I wanted to explain! “

Callum sighs at him. “ James let him talk yeh? Talk through the back. “ James throws one last dagger at Brad before him and Callum walk through the kitchen. Brad quickly follows as Ben looks like he is ready to rip his head off. It’s good that he loves Callum or Brad would be in hospital by now.

“ They - they made me say those things. “

“ What? Homophobic slurs? “ James bitterly inserts.

“ i said no. I said I don’t wanna do it. “

“ yet you carried on. “ Callum pipes in.

Brad looks at Mr Highway - Mitchell. “ Only because they threatened to ‘urt me and me sister. “

“ Why not tell the school then? “ Ben questions.

“ they won’t do anything. They’re shit. “ Brad told them like it’s obvious.

“ your parents? “ Callum shoots another question, curiously.

“ They’re - they don’t care. They neglect me and me sister - and are homophobic. “ Brad explained, vulnerability. “ I thought if I acted like those boys I would be accepted. I could hide who I really am. “ he accidentally slips out. Shit.

“ So your gay? Bi? “ James options.

“ gay. “ Comes out barely a whisper.

“ and that’s why you went along with them? To not look different because you was scared? “ James asks him, understanding.

“ Yeh, cos you - you have a family. You are loved and your dad’s adore ya, mine? They barely notice me or my sister. Only notice us when they beat us or verbally abuse us. “

Ben and Callum share a knowing look. They feel for the kid, they can tell he ain’t lying.
“ Brad, there’s always you can always turn to for help. You don’t have to suffer in silence. “ Ben told him, a little bit more softer than his cold tone.

“ Thanks. “ he awkwardly smiled. “ but I just don’t want cause more trouble. “

James stepped forward and smiled tensely. “ I forgive ya. “

“ you do? “ Hope.

“ Yeh. What you did was wrong but - I understand your reasoning behind it. “

“ thank you James. “ Brad lets his shoulders drop in relief. “ and I’m sorry for upsetting for upsetting your son too. “ he directs at Ben and Callum.

“ We’ll forgive ya. We just want to help you okay? “ Callum softly reassured him. “ you are always welcomes ‘ere. “

And when Ben didn’t say anything James and Callum looked at him pointedly. “ You and your sister can come here if you want, to be safe. “ he reluctantly said, still has his walls up. “ but I don’t you ever picking on James Yeh? “ his voice darkening slightly.

Brad nodded nervously. “ I won’t - I’m really sorry. “

“ its fine. “ James smiled. “ you want play on the x-box? “

“ no. I can’t - I need to go back home. Sorry. “

“ no - no it’s fine. Maybe another time? “

“ I’ll love too. “ Brad smiles, genuinely happy. Ben lets Brad out and says to him that he can always come to him or Callum to talk. Ben comes back through the house to Callum and James separating from a hug.

“ You handled that well James. “ Ben proudly states.

“ i didn’t do anything. It was mainly up and dad. “

Callum puts his hand on James’s shoulder. “ But you understood ‘him, you let him talk and sorted it out without any fights. “

James shrugs with a embarrassed smile seeping onto his face. “ It’s the right thing to do. “

“ You’re so much like ya dad. “ Ben softly tells him.

James smiled wider. “ I’m gunna go to my room and do me homework. “ he hugs Callum and Ben before jogging up the stairs. Ben slides his arms around Callum’s waist and pressing a kiss to Callum neck.

“ We’ve done good with him haven’t we? “

“ We have. “ Callum rested his head against Ben’s head. “ Can’t wait to have more. “

“ Me too. “

Chapter Text

“ Are we there yet? “

“ No. “

“ Now? “

“ No! “

“ Cal please - I’m starvin’! “

“ Shut the fuck up ben! You’ve been going on and on for a whole hour! “

Ben shut upped. To be fair to him, he has been whining a tad bit much but the drive was long and he was hungry.

Callum was taking them somewhere for Christmas. A 4 day holiday for Ben to relax after a hectic year and how that year has taken it out of him. So maybe Ben is being a little ungrateful and should consider all the planning Callum has done especially for him.

Ben slid his hand over and hesitantly placed it on the upper thigh and did a slight squeeze.
“ Sorry baby. “ he guilty apologised, looking at his boyfriend with eyes slightly downcast.

Callum sighs softly, holding Ben’s hand and pressing a kiss to the knuckles with his eyes still on the road. “ No I’m sorry - I shouldn’t have snapped at ya. “

“ I have been going on cal, it’s kinda expected. “ Ben lightly said, trying lighten the slight awkward atmosphere.

Callum clicked his jaw. “ Do you really want to know where we’re going? “ The Highway lad defeated, slightly disappointed he couldn’t keep the location a secret for a while longer.

Ben bit his lip, ‘I’m always ruining things’, he thought negatively. “ You don’t have to Cal. I know you’ve took a load of time organising this. “

“ i just wanted to make it a surprise that’s all. Yew’ve been dead tired ‘n’ busy this whole year. I wanted g’ive ya a break.”

“ no ones ever done that for me before. “ Ben said quietly, amazed at his boyfriend’s gratitude. How he would book a place away from Walford, probably at a high place, 2 weeks away from Christmas just for him.

A Christmassy, magical forest of love, for 4 days.

“ Well you deserve it. “

“ I don’t. “ Ben let out, suddenly insecure. It’s weird because when you are seen as weak people take advantage of you. That’s why Ben has always built a cold hard man wall around himself, to bury his childhood self to rest. He always need the approval, the acceptance and that’s why he ended up in hospital.
But when he is with Callum, he feels safe, content that he doesn’t have to pretend to be a hard man all the time. Who has no feelings and is just cold and deathly. That ain’t him - not really.

Callum glanced at him and smiled at him softly. “ You Ben Mitchell deserve all the love and happiness in the world. “

“ But the things I’ve done -“

Highway interrupted him.“- And I still love ya. You make mistakes, sometimes you take action and then think afterwards, but you’re human. You have a family who care ‘bout ya. “ Callum preached, drilling the highlights into Ben’s head, trying to make him see that he is worthy of love.

“ Dad don’t think that. “ Ben grumbled, playing with the rear end of his sleeve.

“ Well He ain’t the most - nicest of people is he? “Callum choose carefully with is words. “ I know you want approval off him but why? To get him saying “ well done Ben for doing something successful? “ does that really mean everything to ya? “ Callum didn’t mean for it to come out so painfully blunt and harsh.

And now Ben feels pathetic. He genuinely feels the smallest object in the universe for Callum’s blunt words.

“ Oh no Ben - don’t cry -“ Callum cried, reaching his free hand and wiping away Ben’s tears. Ben sniffed not speaking. Callum pulled at the side of the road when it’s safe and turned in the set.

“ Baby I didn’t mean to make yew upset. “ Callum guiltily commented, pulling his boyfriend into his chest - hugging him.

“ You’re right. Dad won’t ever be proud of me. “ he whimpered into Callum’s chest.

“ I know Phil means a lot to ya - I know you want some sort of acceptance off him but - you don’t have to nearly kill ya’self to get it. “

“ I just want him to be proud of me. “

“ Make him see it then. “

“ I have Cal! “ Ben choked out, pulling away from him and wiping his eyes. “ I’ve got a brilliant daught’er, a beautiful boyfriend a ‘ouse, businesses and deals - and it ain’t enough!” Ben sobbed, breaking point. “ it ain’t ever a enough! “

“ Jonno won’t ever be proud of me but see me now? I’ve got everything I’ve ever wanted - everything I never had as a child and I’m saying a massive fuck you to ‘im. Because I know what hurts him more is seeing his son grow up without needing him, completely blocking ‘im out and he’s only looking inwards into my life. “ Callum preached his family unit, showing Ben that you don’t always have to do more than what you are mentally and physically able to do.

“ But why does it feel like I need to tell him? Why do I always - always feel like I need to show ‘im that I’m the son he’s always wanted? “ Ben whimpered, saying it from the core of his insecurities.

“ because like every one - they want praise. They want to make their parents proud - even when they are shit because what they think of yew matters more. “

“ I hate feeling this way Callum.” Ben admitted, voice raw. “ I hate feeling like I’m the shittest human ever and Phil will always see over me like I’m just a burden. “

Callum grabbed his boyfriends shaking hands and made him look at him. “ You are not a burden. Lexi adores ya, Lola and Jay love ya - I’m quite fond of yew. You are surrounded by so many people yet you are still attracted by the darkness of Phil Mitchell. “

“ I just want him to be proud of me. “ Ben repeated tiredly, he is just - mentally tired now it hurts.

“ Don’t you think Phil was proud of yew he would’ve shown it by now? “ Maybe tough love has to work than the easy route. “ Yew need to accept you won’t ever fully get Phil’s acceptance Ben. It’s gunna end up killin’ ya. “

“ I just want to be the son he wanted. “

“ You can’t force yourself to be something you’re not Ben. You can do a few deals there and then but that isn’t what Phil should be proud of, yew plonk. “ Callum joked at the added part, doing all his worth to get Ben to smile at least. And Ben did, a small little chuckle and it makes Callum feel better for seeing his boyfriend smile a tiny bit.
“ He should be proud of yew daughter, your legal businesses, you accepting your sexuality eventfully and for embracing it, for you to get a shared mortgage with your plank of a boyfriend - you’ve achieved so fucking enough and Phil should be proud of that. It’s wrong of him to only want dodgy deals and think that’s all you’re worth.”

“ maybe that’s all I’m worth. “ Ben accepted defeat.

“ I ain’t listening to your self pity. You are worth more than that, more than beatings and crime. You just need to see it. “

“ Well I am half blind so -“ Ben added, with a slight smile at his own suspense.

“ See? “ Callum murmured. “ You havin’ a laugh ‘bout yewself. You ain’t nowt like Phil - and if yew are - it’s barely noticeable. “

Ben sighed heavily, clearing his throat and coughing slightly. “ I need to accept Phil won’t ever be proud of me, don’t I? “

“ Yeh. “ Callum lowered his tone, upset that a son has to accept your dad won’t ever be proud of your success. That hurts. “ But you can move all that negativity Phil has on yew and turn it into positivity for Lexi. You can make her proud she has a dad like yew, you show her how proud yew are of her. “

“ I am proud of her. “ Ben replied, frowning slightly.

“ I know you are babe - What I’m saying is - be the dad you never had. “ Callum told him. “ Show Lexi how a real dad should act and treat her and loved ones like they mean the whole world of gold.“

“ I don’t want her to ever think I don’t care. “ That’s one of his worse fears.

“ She don’t. She knows yew love her, you can see it from a mile off. “

Ben stretched out and hugged his boyfriend tightly, pressing a kiss to Callum’s neck. “ Thank you. “

Callum rubbed Ben’s back. “ Nowt to thank for. “

They pulled away and Ben looked at his watch - 17:30.
“ Are we gunna miss whatever you’ve planned? “ he regretfully said, sounding so insecure.

“ No. the check in is in thirty minutes so - if we go now we won’t be late. Unless you want -“

Ben firmly shook his head. “ no I want to go - you’ve planned all this and - I need a break. I want to be mentally better when I come back. “
Callum shot him a proud smile and kissed him before starting the car again and driving to the cabin.

-

“ oh my - “ Ben breathed out, eyes wide. “ - Oh my god -“ he stared at the dark, moist cabin. The big, thick Christmas trees running around and scattered over the place with the big tall ones protecting the area.
The fairy lights and bulbs lighting up the dark area with the steaming hot top lighting up quarter of the area.

Bloody magical.

“Like it then? “ Callum grinned, smugly, pleased, nervous or all combined together.

Ben turned around and practicality jumped up and down like a little kid before lunging for Callum to hug him tightly. He pressed multiple of kisses over Callum’s face and neck.

“ It’s - It’s like a fairyland! This must’ve costed a load! “ He said when he pulled back to look at his too kind boyfriend.

“ It was cheap to be fair. “ Callum admitted, before pressing a final kiss to Ben’s lips and pulling away to get their bags. “ talk inside - it’s fucking freezin’ out ere. “ he demanded without any dominance in his tone.

Ben gasped when he entered the cabin. The homely, medium sized cabin splashing out boiling heat from the open log fire, rich red/golds and browns with lots of oak wood and drift wood making the cabin spring out into life.

“ It’s nice init. “ Callum spoke when he got in and took off his boots with snow on. “ Looks nicer in real life than on the website. “

“ Cal -“ Ben wiped away a tear, overwhelmed by emotion. “ this - this place is beautiful. You must’ve paid a fortune-“

“ It don’t matter. “ Callum dismissed his worries. “ This break is gunna be about yew and me and sex with hot chocolates and marshmallows.”

Ben huffed a smile. “ You are the best. The best boyfriend ever. “

“ I treat the ones I love. “

-

“ ...Cal? “

“ yeh? “

“ is that a ice rink? “

“ yep. “

“ I’ve really hit the jackpot haven’t I? “

“ Wait and see my love, wait and see. “

-

“ no no babe -“ Ben whined through a laugh slipping on the ice gripping into the barrier like his life depended on it.

“ You just need to stand straight! “

“ unfortunate term of phrase. “

Callum fondly rolled his eyes and wrapped his hands around his boyfriend’s waist. He lifted Ben onto his feet and back hugged him as he slowly ice skated them around the rink.

“ You gotta let your feet be in control. “

“ I bold of you to assume I’ll concentrate on this when I feel your dick against my arse. “

“ Ben! “ Callum choked out a surprised laugh. He tightened his hug and pressed a cold kiss to Ben’s neck. “ Yew enjoying yourself babe? “

“ Whenever I’m with you - I’m always enjoying me’self. “

“ what? Even when I was puking my guts out last month? U enjoyed my company then? “

“ Sickness ‘n’ health init. “ Ben joked boldly.

“ Can’t wait. “

A jolt through Ben’s body. A hint of marriage, he can’t wait to marry Callum in the foreseeable future.

“ I love you Callum. “ Ben told him, voice even, he means it. The words coming straight from his heart.

“ I love you more sweetheart. “ Callum spun Ben around, who made a very shocked face and yelped terrified as he spun in Callum’s embrace.

“ never do that again! “ Ben told him off after nearly having a heart attack from the shock.

“ it was so funny though! “

“ Meany. “

“ You love it. “

“ Mmm debatable. “

Ben pouted. “ I’m cold. “ and he was, it was like he turned into an ice cube.

“ You wanna go into the hot tube with those hot chocolates?”

Ben pressed a millionth kiss to Callum’s icy lips and slid a teasing tongue in. “ Perfect. “

-

“ This is the best holiday I’ve ‘ever had. “ Ben told him, resting his head on the edge of the tube.

“ I’m pleased yew’re enjoying yew’self, especially at the price I paid for this place. “

Ben opened his eyes and looked at Callum squinting nearly because his glasses fogged up.
“ I am grateful. This - no ones has never done this for me before. “

Callum placed his mug down onto the flat surface and straddled Ben’s thighs, bare chests hitting wet skin. “ I love yew Ben. I’ll do anything for yew, I wanted to treat yew and I’ll always gunna treat yew and lex.”

“ can I marry you now? “ Ben stroked the length of Callum’s wet arm, smiling without showing teeth. His eyes radiating love and happiness, the lightest colour of blue.

“ Think the rings are in my bag.”

Chapter Text

Callum was minding his own business in his own flat, sitting on their ( his & Ben’s ) soda looking on his MacBook till what felt like a rock being hurled at him. It was not. It’s Ben. Who jumped down beside him and felt like a rock.

“ alright babe? “ Ben questioned not letting him communicate back as he pressed a kiss to his lips happily. He wrapped both arms around the man’s waist and hugged him, letting his head fall onto Callum’s shoulder.

“ I was till you nearly dislocated my hip. “

“ aw baby. “ Ben mocked. “ you want me to kiss it better? “ he made a fish ‘o’ mouth and even added the bloody fish sound effects. Do fish actually make a noise? Callum wondered.

“ no - just a new hip thanks. “

“ it ain’t broken! “

“ How would yew know? “

“ You’d be in fucking pain! “

Callum grumbled something whilst raising both eyebrows like he insulted Ben in his own head. He then takes his attention back to the laptop whilst asking a question to his boyfriend.

“ Why yew so ‘appy? Yew finally made a successful deal yet? “

“ Yes Callum, thank you very much. “ Ben was not amused with Callum’s attitude. “ my last deal went okay in fact. “

Callum frowned, dramatically turning to him frowning. “ You didn’t get it? “

“ No - because the twat got something better. “ Not at all bitter. Well - he should be suppose.

“ Meanin’ your deal was shit. “

“ It was not shit Callum! It was the full bloody works! Seat warmers, the highest engine speed and - and! It was a old make worth thousands!! “

“ ...yet you couldn’t sell it off? “
Callum faked winced. Damm Callum is in a brutal mood. “ That car that geezer got must’ve been 20 times better. “

Ben clicked his jaw. “ It weren’t Callum! It was probably cheaper! I tell you now he’ll be coming back to me wanting me to s’ell ‘im a dodgy car. “

“ Or he just wanted to see if your shit car is still there and think that’ll do. “

Ben lightly smacked Callum’s chest. “ Stop bein’ bitchy! “

Callum huffed a laugh, pressing a apologetic kiss to Ben’s forehead. “ It’s a change really - yew always bitchy. “ he explained. “ Bitchy Ben Mitchell.” He adds.

“ I will be bitchy in a bloody minute if you carry on! “ Ben lightly threatened. He then takes notice of the light screen and sees courses and career paths. “ why you lookin’ at Health and Social courses for babe? “

“ Well I’ve always been kind natured and always want to look after people don’t I? “ says it like it’s obvious. “ I want to ‘elp people- I want to support ‘em. “

“ you want look after old people? “ Ben is blunt. Callum rolls his eyes at Ben’s wording- because it sounds like it’s coming out of a 5 year olds mouth than a 25 year old.

“ It ain’t just the elderly Ben -“ Callum states him correctly. “ - it can be with infants, children, adolescents, adults or the older generation. “

“ oooh look at yew! All educated! “

“ Ben “ Callum sighs, annoyed.
“ I’m bein’ serious- can yew be too for once? “

Ben sits up into a more comfortable position and takes a proper interest into what his boyfriend is looking at. “ Which one do yew want to look at? “

Callum tilts his to the side considering the options. “ Adolescences, or the elderly- I want to support the vulnerable. The people who really need a support. “

“ a social worker? “

“ yeh... maybe... I want to give kids who are in a abusive household a chance of happiness. I want to help everyone basically. “ he chuckles, more to himself.

“ That’s really good of ya babe. “ Ben amuses, stroking Callum’s chest. “ you’d be the most reliable, kind hearted worker out there. I honestly think you’d make a difference. “

Callum blushes. “ Don’t say that-“

“ I’m bein’ serious! I think you’d be perfect to do Health & Social care. “

“ well it splits into 2 sections - you’d either do Health or social for the level 3 - if yew get to that. “

“ is the working with kids in health then? “

“ no you do a separate course for that - childcare. “

“ ohh. “

“ mmm. “ Callum hummed, concentrating on the paragraph of information. “ You don’t have to go to college - you can get work experience and work on the job apparently. “

“ I think that’s the better option. It’d be better than going to college at your age - you’d be the oldest there! “

“ cheeky! “

“ what?! I’m stating the truth! “

Callum tickled Ben’s side before stopping and making a decision.
“ I’m gunna ring ‘em for more information later. “

“ on a serious note babe - Whatever you do - I’ll support ya. “

Callum smiles at him happy, happy that he has support. At least 1 person has hope for him.
“ I love you. “

“ I love you too. “

Chapter Text

“ That y’oo Babe? “ Ben sleepily slurred from his deep sleep. He reached his arm out to touch Callum who was sat on his own side of the bed taking off his shoes.

Callum turned softly stretching over to give his boyfriend a kiss on the forehead. He brushed Ben’s messy hair off his forehead soothingly.

“ Yes, go back to bed. “ Callum whispered delicately.

Ben seemed to ignore Highways light demand and shuffled closer to him and wrapped his arms around Callum’s bare waist.

“ You meant be back hours go. “ Ben told him, the deep slumber clinging onto his brain function making him not make proper, understanding sentences.

“ I know baby, the night shift took longer than expected. “

“ M’missed you. “

Callum kicked his shoes away and took off his work trousers before sliding into the bed with his still half asleep boyfriend.

“ I missed you too. “ he snuggled up to him and wrapped the quilt around Ben again. Who clung onto Callum like a octopus.

“ You didn’t get hurt? “

Ben has taken the habit of asking Callum this now, for every shift Callum does. Night or day - stand by or not.

“ No. “

“m’you not lyin’? “

“ sleep. “ Callum told him again, seeing Ben’s eyes become heavier and his body becoming dead weight.

“ better not be. “ is his last words.

-

“ What time did you get back? “ Ben asked him, still in the position when Callum first came in.

“ 2 in the mornin’. “

Ben nodded, yawning. “ You didn’t answer me question. “

“ What was it? “

“ did yew get hurt? “

“ No, just few verbal assaults but not physical. “

“ good. “ Ben kissed Callum’s defined chest.

“ You was okay? “

“ Just missed you - hardly ever see you anymore. “ Ben admitted to him sadly. He traced different shapes on Callum’s muscled stomach.

When Ben found out Callum had to go to the gym ( he wasn’t ever fat or borderline chubby but the Chief recommended going because the Police have to do lots of physical work ). He weren’t too happy. Ben loved the softness to Callum’s body, the soft skin made Ben feel comforted and safe and warm. But, now Callum’s body is defined by muscle - don’t get Ben wrong he likes muscley men but - Callum is different. He liked the softness to his body and now Callum is not soft.

“ I’m sorry for that. “ Callum murmured, he kissed Ben’s forehead and slid his hand down to Ben’s arse to give the plump flesh a squeeze. “ but I’ve got a day off today. “

Ben lifted his head up in surprise. “ Really? “ he sounded so hopeful.

“ hmm. “ He nodded. “ You and me and Lex could do -“

“ it’s a school day. “

“ it’s Saturday init? “

“ Thursday. “

“ oh. “

Ben sighed, another thing he doesn’t like about Callum’s long night shifts is he sleeps the day away and all the days to weeks get blended together.

“ We could do something then?” Callum tried, bit awkwardly.

“ But your tired though. “ Ben disappointedly stated, getting up and straddling his boyfriend’s waist. Callum automatically placed his hands on Ben’s love handles and stroked the skin with both thumbs.

“ I want to spend the day with me boyfriend - don’t wanna sleep the day away again -“

Ben smiled softly and kissed him on the lips. “ Wot you want to do then? “

“ Well we could always go on a dinner date for our tea? Then come back ‘ere and ‘ave long, loving sex. “

Ben snorted at Callum’s soft, dopey smile and voice. “ Feels like a long time since I had your big weapon up me arse. “

Callum snorted with laughter.
“ I missed you - “ he started. “ Physically - I’m really starting to ache for your hard, wet cock in me anal now. “

Ben burst out laughing before quietening down shortly afterwards. “ in the last 12 months of knowing ya - you’ve never been so blunt! “

“ because I’m that desperate babe for your leaking cock. “

“ I’ve been using our sex toys I have. “

“ oh yeh? “

“ Mmmm. When I’m alone in our bed - I stretch my hole out and pretend it’s your fingers in my leaking hole - “ Ben sucked on the skin of Callum’s collarbone as Callum moaned feeling his penis outgrow. “ - and fist myself for ages till the point where I’m screaming for your name and I make myself come thinking of you -“

“ Oh baby -“ Callum grinds his hips up into Ben’s hole underneath him.

“ - and then I have the biggest buttplug to memorise your dick inside me instead. “ Ben growled against the flush skin and kissed Callum’s lips hungrily again.

“ I need to fucking fuck you now -“ Callum rolled down Ben’s boxers and pushed him backwards making Ben the bottom.

“ Come on baby - be dominant-and sexy with me - make me come and waiver under you -“ Ben tugged ya Callum’s hard cock.

“ - I’m gunna make you ache and whine and fucked when I’m gone with yew -“

“ All the talk and none the action -“

-

“ wow “ Ben breathed out, beyond impressed. “ All those gym sessions have worked out then. “ he huffed a breathless laugh.

“ Because I only want to be flexible for you babe. “ Callum joked, giving Ben’s moist shoulder a kiss.

And then Ben grimaced from
the uncomfortable sensation of wet, cum and clammy feeling on the bed and himself.

“ I need a shower. “

Callum grinned and straddled Ben again kissing him senseless for saying against his lips. “ Round 3? “

“ We can never have enough sex -“ Ben stated. “ - and anyway we’ve got a lot of make up sex to do, don’t we? “

“ A lot of make up sex -“ Callum repeated with lust, they both started kissing again for a few minutes before having rounds and rounds of shower sex.

Chapter Text

“ Cal I’m so sorry “

“ You should be “

Ben winced at his cold words.
“ I didn’t mean to get caught!”

“ no, course you didn’t- but you did ben. “

“ Please don’t be like that. “ Ben requested quietly, glancing around the prison room to check if anyone saw his inner vulnerability. What a joke, even now, he still needs to play the hard man - even when the love of his life is slowly fading away because of his stupidity.

Callum tilts his head to the side, eyes narrowing with enough coldness to make Ben physically shiver. “ like what Ben? Angry? “ he seethed in a hissed tone. “ Happy? Happy that my supposed boyfriend is doing time in prison!? “

“ I’m still your boyfriend. “ Ben reminded him, more for himself because they are aren’t they? Boyfriends?

Callum huffs out a short laugh and leans back on the plastic chair, folding his arms over his chest. “ You expect me to pause me life whilst yew’re in ‘ere? “

Ben flinches, one tear slides down his cheek, head down, ashamed.

“ What about lex? Ay? Think of her! “

Ben’s head shoots up, he leans forward too quickly making the table knock into Callum. Too angry and protective to care.
“ Don’t you bring -“

“ Yeh I will Ben -“ Callum tells him too calmly, leaning forward too now and crossin’ both arms on the flat surface. He is taking control of the situation, confident. “ You never thought of her when you was doing your dodgy shit once. “

“ Yeh I-“

“ No you didn’t! “ Callum dismissed him. “ You never thought of that little girl crying at home after I told her, her daddy ain’t coming home for years! “

Ben bit his cheek hard, to not let out a sob.

“ You never thought of the future without her dad, she adores yew, you are her moon and oxygen. “ Callum uses the guilt trip card, because it’s true in his book. “ Yew never thought of Jay or Lola or yew mum or me. Yew only cared about the money, of getting the approval off yew dad - everything else don’t matter no more. “

“ I’m sorry. “ He chokes out, its hard to swallow from the hard lump in his throat and the guilt eating him alive.

“ Sorry ain’t good enough Ben. “ Callum bluntly said. “ This is yew’re home now - for the next 5 years. “

“ But I’ll have you -“

“ Bold of you to assume I’ll be coming here to see yew. “

Ben flinched harshly. Fine, if that’s how he’s gunna be, 2 can play that game. “ If you fucking feel like that then fuck off! “

“ But then you’ll be alone won’t you? “ Callum pouts nastily. When Callum plays nasty, he really plays the part. “ Daddy ain’t ‘ere to see yew, you do know -“ he leans forward to him. “ - he’s disappointed yeh? “ he chuckles. “ - not in yew Ben - but in the fact that - you couldn’t have just stopped it, before it went too far. “

“ I don’t need you Callum. “

“ no? Well that’s me told init? Yew won’t get your ‘bodyguards’ on me for upsetting yew? “

“ Fuck off Callum - if you hate me so -“

“ I’m disappointed in you. I don’t hate yew, or resent ya, I’m just - disappointed. “

Ben avoids his gaze. “ I wanted to get that money and I didn’t mean for anyone to get ‘urt. “

“ But they did. You are responsible with the other thugs. “

“ So I’m that I’m I? “ He stares at him, hurt. “ A thug? “

“ what do you call yourself Ben?”

“ It Don’t -“

“ yeh it does - what do you think you are Ben? “ Callum pronounces each word with curiosity.

“ A failure. “

“ At least you’ve admitted it. “ Callum agrees to a point. “ I mean - how many times can a person do ‘business ‘ and it all went wrong? “

“ Why are you being so nasty? “

“ Maybe because I want to be for a change. I can’t always be the nice guy you know. I can’t always be the cheerful bloke everyone likes. “ Callum informs him, tired, angry, disappointed - too many emotions. “ Maybe I want my boyfriend to know how hurt I am - maybe I’m that bitter and angry I want to hurt him too. So he can feel how I feel. “

“ I know you are hurting. “

“ Yet you can’t do anything about it. “

“ I can get a reduced sentence- on good behaviour -“

“ Please Don’t make me laugh Ben. yew ain’t gunna get out of ‘ere - yew gunna cause more trouble in ‘ere. Yew gunna go and start fights because yew think you’ve lost everything ‘n’ yew feel what’s the point? “

Ben blinks, how does Callum know him like that? How does he know Ben act like that?

“ Haven’t I? “

“ what? “

“ lost everything? “

“ I still love yew. Lex - loves ya, Lola and Jay are mad at you. Phil is - Phil. “

“ I don’t want to lose you. “

“ Should’ve thought of that -“

“ Yes i know that Callum. “ Ben snaps. “ I know I’ve fucked up, I know I’m a disappointment and a failure. I know I’ve lost me boyfriend, my daughter-“ his voice cracks. “ I know everyone’s gunna move on with life and I’ll be forgotten about. “

“ You’ll won’t ever be forgotten about Ben. You’ll just be someone who ain’t there no more. “

“ Because that makes me better don’t it? “

The police officer shouts 10 minutes to go. Ben panics. This is going to be their final goodbye init?

“ I still love you Ben. “ Callum finally shatters the walls around his heart. “ but I’m angry at you. I want to wait for you but - you’re gone for 5 years. “

“ I know that baby but please don’t give up on me. “ Ben begs.

“ I don’t want too but - What If it’s too late? What if I don’t want to wait 5 years? I don’t want to fall out of love with you. “

“ I don’t want to either. “

“ I’ll always love Lexi. “

“ don’t you dare -“

“ I’ll always protect her and always be there - but maybe you was right - we’re too different people. “

“ Shut up. “ Ben bites down on his lip but the tears keep coming down.

“ I wanted us to be married in a few years - a ‘ouse together, kids -“

“ and we still can -“ Ben grabs Callum’s hands in a vice grip.

“ but you’ve wrecked that now. We can never have kids of our own - your track record was already bad as it was. “

“ Then what do you want to do about it Callum? It seems like you’ve already written me off. “

“ I just wished me and Lexi were enough for yew. “

“ You were - are! You two mean the whole world to me! “

“ no we don’t. “ Callum dismisses. “ We only mean half of the world to ya - your dad’s approval means more to you. “

Ben shakes his head, 5 minutes to go, a countdown of their relationship as it seems. “ You know you and Lexi mean everything to me. “

“ so why do the dodgy deals? “

“ Because - because it’s the only way of getting money! “

“ Yet someone got badly injured because of it. “

“ I’m sorry. “

“ I honestly don’t know where we stand anymore. “

Chapter Text

Callum rushed to The Car Lot on his shift break and didn’t bother to knock on the metal door. He is too frantic and needs to urgently tell his boyfriend the news. Callum completely dismisses Ben jumping out of his skin when he bursts in.

“ what the hel-“

“ You need to get all your dodgy shit out of The Arches! “

Ben frowned, alarmed and standing up facing his police officer boyfriend. One benefit of dating a copper - they let you know information relating to you.

“ Why? “

Callum huffs at his lack of logical thinking. “ Because you’ve been doing dodgy activity Ben! You’ve caused suspicion and they’re gonna do a unexpected expectation. “

Ben sighs heavily, rubbing his forehead. “ I knew that fucking-“

“ I haven’t got the time Ben! Just get rid of anything illegal!!!” Callum blurted out hysterically because he’s going to be late for his next duty. He then quickly pecks Ben heavily on the lips and then he’s gone like the flash.

Ben got both sets of keys and locked the car lot door before sprinting to the arches to get rid of evidence.

-

Ben placed the lasagna onto the plates just in time for his boyfriend to enter the flat. Callum sighed heavily, physically tired. He tiredly smiled though at Ben looking domestic.

“ what’s this in aid for? “ Callum supposes, pecking Ben on the lips as Ben wrapped his arms around Callum’s waist ( it was hard to wrap his short arms around because of Callum’s layered police uniform ).

“ to say a thank you for letting me know I’ll get raided by coppers. “

Callum hums playfully. “ You should be Mr Mitchell. I was on me break and sprinted ‘ere to tell yew. “

Ben kissed him again and pushed him against the counter. “ If only I was there to see ya run. “

“ It was nothing special - I tripped over a casket of tomato’s. “

Ben howls with laughter. “ What?! How? “

“ I was too busy saving me boyfriend’s arse. “

“ And later you can eat me out for saving it. “ Ben appreciated Callum’s bum with a tight squeeze.

Callum scoffed and kissed him lovingly on the lips. “ I need to get changed and ‘ave a shower.”

“ A shared one? “

“ Not tonight baby. “ Callum rubbed Ben’s arms.

“ Shame. “ he pouts. “ Wanted to thank you some more. “

“ Yeh shame init. “

“ Idiot. “ Ben laughed.

20 minutes later Callum strolls back into the living room wearing his shorts and white - it’s seen better days - t-shirt. Ben reheated Callum’s meal for him and now sits on the coffee table with a small table for your lap.

“ Babe it’s turning cold - eat it well ya. “ Ben ordered.

Callum collapsed onto the sofa next to him gulping down the beer before pulling away with a loud burp.

Ben grimaced. “ Maybe that’s why yew got one boyfriend. “

Callum smacked him on the arm. “ oi cheeky! “ he stated. “ I’ve done a 13hr shift! “

“ Excuses. “

“ You sorted the arches out then? “ Callum changed the topic.

“ Yep. Just in time and the coppers found nowt. “ Ben smiled pleased.

“ Which police officer did yew get? “

Ben shrugged. “ some bloke called PC Jones? “

“ ohh him! “ Callum exclaimed whilst taking a mouthful of lasagna. “ He’s dead nice. “

“ I didn’t think that when he was looking in me draws. “

“ yeh no one wants see that. “

Ben nudged him.

“ Did you arrest any baddies then? “

“ yeh a few - there was one bloke -“ Callum swallowed his food. “ -and he had dead good package on him. “

Ben deadpanned him with a look. “ Should I be jealous? “

“ no he’s going to prison for selling class A drugs. “

Ben chuckled lightly. “ You little tease. “

“ What? It’s true -he had good set of muscles on him! “

Ben wrapped his arm around Highways waist. “ You’ll rather have me though -“

“ No one compares babe - “

“ Same goes for you -“ Ben smiled sleepily. “ Why do you even do in the car with your colleagues? “

“ Driving ‘round - going on car races - having a quickie- arresting people. You know the usual. “ Callum had a cheeky glint in his eye.

“ I think I preferred you when you was less sarcastic and less like me. “

“ It’s the Mitchell influence. “

“ Mustn’t be working cos u a officer. “

“ But I’m still protecting ya from the law. “

“ true. “

Callum finished off his food and put the dirty plate onto the coffee table. “ cheers for the Tesco take away lasagna. “

“ Your welcome. “ Ben grinned. “ Now - bedroom? “ he wiggled his eyebrows.

Callum answered with a hungry kiss with his hand sliding down Ben’s pants.

The past tiredness completely forgotten about. He can sleep tomorrow away - because of all the make up sex tonight.

Chapter Text

Ben carried on rubbing his boyfriend’s back as he hurled some more into the toilet. Ben hates seeing him like this, Callum being sick every morning for the past 3 weeks. Ben is seriously worried about him now, the slight weight loss, lack of physical energy and Callum isn’t himself. Highway is snappy, always tired, barely eating and is bloating -but Ben put it down to not eating.

“ Babe, you need to go to the docts. “

“ I ain’t wasting their time. “ Callum gags into the loo.

“ Well your not. You’ve been sick for the past 3 weeks! “

“ It’s just -“

“ Nah I ain’t taking anymore of yew bullshit Callum! “ Ben dismissed his boyfriend’s bullshit. “ You are ill. You will be going to the docs. “

“ it’s my human right to have a choice Ben. “

“ and stop getting all legal on me! “ Ben hissed in defence.
“ You are going and I ain’t taking no ‘ human right ‘ as an reasonable answer! “

Callum spat into the toilet and sighed heavily brushing the sweat off his forehead and looking against the bath in exhaustion.

“M’tired. “

Ben’s face softened and brushed Callum’s sweaty hair off his forehead and helped him up to his feet. “ I’ll make you a doctors appointment yeh? “ Ben rhetorically asked him as they made their way to the bedroom.
Ben helped Callum into bed and pulled the quilt and covers around his love before pressing a kiss to the flushed skin.

“ How you feeling now baby? “

“ M’tired. “ Callum drowsy said, slipping into unconsciousness. Ben hummed and stayed a while longer till he eventually fell asleep.

-

“ You are pregnant. “

“ .....what? No I can’t - I’m a bloke! “

“ The urine states positive Callum. I’ll refer you to the ultrasound department as you’re 6 weeks gone now. “

“ But - would there be cancellations? “

The doctor shook their head.
“ No. You’d have a C section. “

“....?....”

“ The surgeons will cut underneath your stomach to get the baby out. “ the doctor answered his confused look. “ but there is no pressure Callum. You don’t have to have this baby, everything relies on you and your partner on yours decision. “

Callum wished Ben was with him now. The support, protective safety but then would Ben make fun of him? Would Ben leave him because Callum will look like a freak?

“ I’ll - I’ll have a ultrasound. But I might - might want an abortion.”

The doctor gave him a practising smile and handed him a leaflet about decisions and babies with options about not wanting the infant.

“ There are support centres to help you Callum. You may feel it, but you are not alone. “

Yeh he is.

-

Callum dropped his keys and coat onto the kitchen table before slumping down on the sofa. Pregnant. He is pregnant. A bundle of cells transforming into human. Callum is scared shitless.

Ben is on a job for the whole day. He was reluctant to go and wanted to stay with Callum but he insisted Ben needed the money. Now Callum is thankful he insisted because he really doesn’t know what to do.

The slight bump catches his eye and the next thing he is doing is sliding his hand on his bloated tummy. It feels - weird, not in a bad or good way but there is something happening in Callum’s chest and he doesn’t know what to do.

Does Ben even want a baby? Does he want a baby with Callum? They haven’t got the room space or the money or the flippin time for a baby. How is Callum going to tell him? Should it be ‘ Hey babe you knocked me up and their coming in 9 months time. ‘

Maybe Callum should ask around the topic of babies. To get in Ben’s head to see how he really feels and not on the spot. So Callum can feel more guilt and pressure.

Ben walks into their flat casually and then spots Callum there ( who quickly yanked his jumper down over his stomach) and Ben’s face softened.

“ How did it go? “ Ben asked concernedly, stroking his boyfriend’s neck and giving him 2 kisses to his cheek and mouth.

Callum shrugged, playing nonchalant suddenly. “ Nothing wrong- the doc suspects its some sort of tummy bug. “

Lies it is then.

Ben’s eyebrows turn down slightly, not convinced. “ That it?”

“ what were you expecting? Me having some major life threatening disease? “

“No! “ Ben was offended. “ no of course not babe. “ Ben linked their hands together. “ When you’re better we can finally have sex. “

Dread. Callum actually felt his stomach turn and drop. They can’t have sex - it’d hurt the baby. What if it damages the baby? Callum doesn’t want Ben to see his body at all - especially when you can see a little bump.

Ben barked out a offended laugh. “ You don’t have to ya know?! “ he exclaimed dramatically. “ You don’t have to look so disgusted! “

Callum recovered his face and sat up fully to place a kiss to Ben’s lips. “ you know I miss yew -“ he trailed Ben’s stubble. “ but I just - I don’t feel up to it yet. Sorry. “

Ben sighed at him because- he hates how Callum apologies for not wanting sex. They’ve been together for 7months now, surly Callum knows Ben won’t be bad ( he won’t ever be mad in general ).

“ You don’t have to apologise for not wanting some Ben Mitchell Cal. It’s your choice to not want it. “

“ but it’s been like 6 weeks without -“

“ And? “ Ben cocks an eyebrow, his face showing ‘ so what? ‘ “I want all of you Callum - not just your beautiful dick. I don’t want just sex - yeh I love it - especially when it’s you. But cal- I ain’t forcing you. I love looking after you, I love protecting you and just kissing you - it’s not always sex. “

“ You done with your speech? “

Ben nudged him with a smile.
“ You made me too soppy, you have. “

“ I love you too. “

“ Love you more. “ Ben grinned, against Callum’s lips before they sloppily snogged each other

“ I do want you -“

He just doesn’t want disappoint Ben and cause suspicion.

Ben pulled away slightly. “ but if you are not up to it - “

“ I - I want to suck you off -“

Ben’s hard dick twitched and smiled through the lustful waves. “ Are you up to it? “

“ I know you ain’t exactly small but I think I can manage all of you. “

“ Callum! Ya cheeky boy! “ Ben flirtatious slapped Callum’s chest. “ go on then - but if you want to stop-“

“ and I’ll stop - “ Callum slid down his boyfriend’s body and tried to keep the sickness away. He can do this - this isn’t hurting the baby. But - What If it is?

Callum concentrated on taking Ben’s hard dick in his mouth and feels like his stomach is coming up his throat. Just breathe and suck just it’s gunna be fine.

“ Mm come on cal - M’need you.”

Callum sucked hard on Ben’s dick needing him to know how much he loves him. How much Callum would do anything for him, to protect him, to make him laugh and feel loved. To show what that feels like, to feel valued. How Callum is preggers and would protect their child.

“ Fucking hell -“ Ben moaned loudly after coming hard and long. “ - you been practicing with someone? That - that was amazing. “

Callum wiped his mouth and weakly smiled coming on top of Ben to straddle him. “ That was the fastest you’ve ever cummed before. “

Ben rested his hands on Callum’s love handles and squeezed and rubbed and pinched the skin subconsciously. “ Well it’s the Highway effect init. “

“ You are dead fit. “

“ so are you. “ Ben reversed wordings onto the highway lad. “ Jay and lo asked me if we wanted to go out to the Vic tonight. “

“ hmm what did you say? “

“ Well I said no didn’t I? “ Ben used that tone of ‘ you plank. ‘
“ Your ill. “

“ and you could’ve still gone? “

“ Well I wasn’t gunna leave ya was I? I already have too when I go to work. “

Callum’s heart burst with fireworks. “ You are too sweet. “

“ I know baby - like that time when you covered me cock in whipped cream and topped it off with a cherry and milky chocolate sauce. “

Callum blushed. “ It was hot though. “

“ And messy. “

“ And the best you’ve ever had.”

Ben made an impressive noise in the back of his throat. “ Smug Highway - I like it. “

Callum hummed happily.
“ Maybe we should go out tonight. I’m sick of staying in and just doing work inside. “

“ only if you’re sure. “

“ One hundred percent babe. “

Ben looked like he wanted to say more but decided against it. Opting to kiss Callum again before texting jay that they will be going out tonight.

“ lets make the most of a free flat shall we? “ Ben wiggles his eyebrows.

“ by doin wot? “

“ Snogging. “

Callum tilted his head with a cheeky grin, forgetting about the bungle of cells in his stomach.

It’s about him and Ben tonight.

-

“ Ah finally! They make an entrance! “ Jay announces dryly seeing both of his mates walk into the Vic.

“ twenty minutes late -you two are! “ Lola added. “ Lucky the food ain’t ‘ere yet! “

Ben slid into the opposite booth and made a gesture as he outstretched his left arm around Callum’s shoulders.

“ Well I’ve been havin my time away with him hadn’t I? “

Callum turned red. Babies. Their baby. In him. He can’t think.

“ Aw already thinking of babies are we? “ jay teasingly mocked into his larger.

“ - only been 7 months of yous together. “ Lola finished jays sentence who squeezed her thigh in a warming manner.

“ Nah don’t want no more responsibility. “ Ben dismissed.

It felt like Callum was physically shot in the heart.

Jay frowned. “ what really? You don’t want lex to have any siblings? “

“ well yeh but in the future. “ Ben shrugged now awkward. Callum was sat frozen. Ben don’t want any kids. The baby inside him is developing and - their other dad don’t want them ( unknowingly).

“ I’m loving how things are right now. “ Ben informed, squeezing Callum’s shoulder who’s attention came to the present.
“ Me and him and lex is all I need. I don’t want to settle down with a baby when a 7 year old is enough stress. “ he lightly joked. He loves lex, he’ll move the stars and sun for her - but - she can be a handful.

“ and what about you Callum? “

Callum cleared his throat looking at Lola who had a strange look on her. “ what? “

“ do you want kids? “

“ I - well I do - in the - fu-future.”

“ Cal you need a whisky to calm your nerves. “ jay joked.

“ N-no. “ Callum mumbled. Yeh, he should’ve just stayed inside.

“ Come on leave him alone. He’s been ill. “ Ben defended his love.

The waitress passes them all their food mid conversation, fish and chips all round.

“ You don’t want catch that. “ Jay popped a fat, crispy chip into his mouth. “ You’ve had it for what - 6 weeks hasn’t cha? “

Callum numbly nods, it feels like he is the case and all 3 of them are getting the evidence.

“ You sure you ain’t preggers Highway? “ Lola questioned with a smirk.

“ I mean he could be- all those late night -“

“ Don’t need the details Ben! “ Jay cut him off.

Ben shrugged unbothered. “ At least we get a free meal out of it. “

‘ Thank god the topic has changed ‘ Callum thought.

“ And that’ll be coming out your wages. “ Jay replied without a beat.

“ What will I ever do without £7?” Ben deadpanned bored.

“ Lexis school want £7 for her school trip. “ Lola bit the news bluntly.

“ oh for fucks sake. “

“ it’d be twice that price if you had a second kid. “ Jay decided to point his nose into it.

Callum felt worse. Why god why did he get up the duff?

“ well it’s good we ain’t havin any then aint it. “

Are you sure about that? Callum wanted to awkwardly input.

-

Ben slid into their bed and hugged Callum from behind. He propped his stubble jaw on the crook of Callum’s neck to shoulder and wrapped his right arm around Callum’s waist.

Callum tried not to tense.

“ You’ve been quiet all night you have. “ Ben murmured, tracing Callum’s skin on his stomach.

“ M’just feeling bit unwell still. “ lied Callum. He feels sick, the idea of being pregnant, alone in this situation and now he has to get rid of this baby. This innocent baby because it isn’t the right time, Callum is killing this baby and he hates himself.

“ You should’ve said baby- we’d would’ve gone ‘ome. “

“ didn’t want to ruin ya night with yew friends. “ Callum linked their hands together, indifferently.

“ Their your mates too Cal - “

“ I know babe. I’m tired now. “ Callum hates dismissing Ben but honestly - he is in a completely different head space.

Ben pressed a kiss to Callum’s skin. He knows there’s something else wrong with Callum but he don’t want to push him too much. For now, he leaves it be.

“ love you. “

Callum snores in response.

-

2 weeks later Callum makes an appointment to have an abortion. He didn’t want to have an ultrasound, to know the baby is heathy and for him to kill them. Callum hates himself for doing this but he is doing this for them. He doesn’t want the baby to think ( in the future) it’s their fault they were born in the wrong time. The arguments, fights - he doesn’t want the baby to have the child he & Ben suffered.

Callum clutched the counter tighter and tighter till his knuckles went white and fingers went red. It’d all be over soon. He keeps telling himself, it’ll be okay eventfully.
One tear slips from his eye and falls to the floor - he hopes the baby isn’t crying knowing what he’s about to do. Callum rubs his stomach softly, he wants to be a dad, wants to watch his baby grow but - he doesn’t want the baby to be born into hassle. He’s being a dad even when he isn’t one yet.

Callum gets what’s he needs and leaves the flat, forgetting about the hospital appointment letter on the counter.

-

When Ben got in he expected to see his boyfriend on the sofa watching the tv. They usually had their lunch dates together and had bit of a mingle around but it seems not today. Ben double checks his phone and there isn’t any messages from him either. Ben has been worried about Callum, he doesn’t like the withdrawn attitude from him at all.

A letter from a clinic catches his eye and when he reads the first few sentences he feels the blood drain from his face.

Callum is pregnant. Callum is carrying their baby. Callum is having an abortion.

Ben feels his heart freeze and shatter, frantically calling his lover. The line goes dead.

Chapter Text

 

He is weak. He is fragile. He is a coward. He is not a man. Callum is just a little, frightened boy who doesn’t face up to his actions. 

 

Callum couldn’t go through with it. He may be a lot of things but he isn’t a killer. When Callum entered the clinic room he wanted to be sick, when the woman checked the babies again to double check records. She told him - and Callum then apologised and apologised and now he sits on the bench outside the clinic. 

 

Ben swerves safety yet erratically into the carpark space. The 30 minute drive was dangerous, he was lunching through the roads like The Flash. Ben needed to get there in time to change Callum’s mind, to stop him from doing the worst mistake of his life. They could do this, have a baby, parent the infant but - Callum wanted to abort it. 

 

Ben was 20 minutes late. The appointment finished ages ago. Ben cried, curst, sobbed, repeatedly punched the steering wheel. The pain in his well being was crushing - it feels like a enormous cloud has collapsed onto you. You are struggling to breathe, you can still see, you can still move but - you are being crushed slowly. 

 

Ben managed to compose himself. The harsh breaths escaping his mouth, red eyes stinging like a paper cut. Callum sitting outside the clinic looking pale. Ben jumped out of the car, jogging towards his boyfriend and his movements slowed. It was like you put slow motion on the telly. There was too many emotions running through Ben’s face ‘ You haven’t done it? ‘ ‘ Please - ‘ ‘ You have haven’t you? ‘ ‘ please don’t tell me you’ve done through with it.’ 

 

Callum slowly looked up, his once bright eyes now died of emotion and soul. 

 

“ I couldn’t go through with it. “ 

 

Ben visibly relaxed. He hugged Callum from his side, a crushing embrace - he let himself cry again on Callum’s shoulder. Who sat there numbly. 

 

“ Thank god. “ Ben breathed. “ thank you - thank you -“ he didn’t know what he was saying. He felt selfish, but in this moment, this very precise time - he couldn’t care. 

 

“ I’m weak. “ No emotion, he meant it. When you agree to something, Callum accepted that he was weak and it broke Ben’s already half shattered heart. 

 

Ben brought Callum’s jaw to his and looked at him through his eyelashes. Ben’s blue eyes were icy with anger and passion. 

 

“ You ain’t weak. You are strong and brave. “ 

 

“ How? I was about -“ 

 

“ It shows you have chosen the right choice. “ Ben cut in. “ You are brave for not going through with it. “ 

 

“ Can we just go home first? “ Callum doesn’t need to hear it. How brave he is, maybe on some levels he is but - it is just another reason for his father to hate him isn’t it? 

 

Ben brought him up and kissed his jaw before walking back to his car. Ben was tingling and stinging all over his body, he needs to get into Callum’s head, to understand why he was about to take away their baby. Their chance of happiness and to show their baby what a family is. What they never experienced. 

 

-

 

Ben did not know what to do. He was barely there when Lola was pregnant with Lexi, he was deep in the closet and was scared to make an attachment. He couldn’t handle Lola and knowing he was becoming a dad, he was ( is ) gay and now he had a kid along the way? Ben wanted to bury his head in the sand. Now finding out his true love was pregnant, now out and very proud, wanting a life with Callum - this was his ( and their ) chance to become a proper couple, to say a fuck you to disrespectful parents, a fuck you to their troublesome past. 

 

A new chapter. 

 

Ben held the two mugs ( a gay, colourful rainbow mug for Ben and one for Callum too, but with more vibrant colour to the rainbow and smiley faces added. The mugs were from Lexi as a sweet present for her daddies ). He brought them to Callum, who had his forearms rested on his thighs starring deep in thought. Ben put the objects down and gently placed his hand on his boyfriend’s shoulder and brought him back to the present. 

 

“ talk to me. “ 

 

“ I was going to do it for you. “ 

 

Ben frowned, slightly hurt and very confused. “ why? “ 

 

“ You said at the Vic yew didn’t want the hassle. “ 

 

‘Nah don’t want no more responsibility. ‘

 

“ I said I nowt want anymore responsibility Cal. “ 

 

“ and that’s why I was gunna get rid of them. “ Callum snapped. 

 

A tiny bit hope bubbling in his stomach. “ them? “ 

 

“ I found out I had twins. When I was in there - that’s when I couldn’t do it because- one, it’d hurt Yeh - but killing two babies? I couldn’t stomach it. “ 

 

It’s like he has lost lung function. “ But you should’ve talked to ma! “ 

 

“ and what? You reluctantly agree with me? To resent me later on with life? “ 

 

Ben moves away from him, needing space. “ well what was your grand plan cal? You didn’t go through with It - I think I’d bound to notice you looking more round, yew donut! “ 

 

Callum huffed and bolted up from the sofa, pacing around the living room rubbing his forehead. Ben couldn’t help let his eyes wonder down to Callum’s stomach, his little round tummy where his two children lay. 

 

“ I don’t know Ben! I don’t fucking KNOW! “ The chair goes flying and falls on the other side of the room. Ben leaps up and holds his distressed boyfriend and looks deep in his eyes. 

 

“ Just calm down, no need to go all Muhammad on me. “ 

 

Callum eschewed his lovers eyes and looked down at the floor. “ I didn’t want us to be fighting and have our kids thinkin’ it’d be their fault. “ 

 

“ They won’t ever f’eel like that - yew know why? Cos we’re better than that. Our dad’s taught us how to be better and not be like pricks. “ 

 

Highway scoffed slightly, its not wrong is it? Callum brought his hands up and gently squeezed Ben’s biceps. “ I didn’t want us to change. “ 

 

“ we wouldn’t. I won’t lie - it’d be a bit suffocating and stressful - but I’ll have yew and vice versa.” 

 

Callum hummed, nodding his head very slightly and Ben finally saw Callum’s eyes bright up again. 

 

“ We’ll have each other? “ 

 

“ Of course. “ 

 

Callum brought him into a hug and inhaled Ben’s scent. “ I’m sorry for nearly getting rid of them. “ 

 

“ I forgive you. I know you’re scared but - you have made the best decision Callum. “ 

 

“ m’love you. “ 

 

“ I love you too - you idiot. “ 

 

-

 

5 months later!! 

 

“ Baabbee! “ Ben called for him, coming into their house with bags full of food. 

 

“ whaat? “ Callum replied, meeting his lover in the kitchen. He pressed a kiss to Ben’s jaw, having to lean closer because his stomach is a physical barrier now. Ben hummed happily, sounding like a chuckle and placed both hands either side of Callum’s massive stomach. 

 

“ how’s my babies? “ 

 

“ Tiresome. “ Callum smirked simply. “ they’re kicking and movin’ bout. “ 

 

“ M’aw - bit like Lola - “ Ben commented before realising what he said didn’t make sense. “ I mean - Lexi was very active in the womb. “ 

 

“ I can tell when we finally meet them they’ll be active like you. “ 

 

Ben smiled. “ Physical sports was never me thing. “ 

 

“ yeh I can tell. “ Callum jabbed at Ben’s soft tummy. 

 

“ oi! I only got this belly because it’s a sympathy baby thing! “ 

 

“ yeh you tell yourself that babe.” 

 

Ben kissed him on the lips, feeling his cock twitch when Callum’s tummy pushed into him. “ You wouldn’t change it any other way. You know it. “ 

 

Callum pushed him into the counter. “ I love exactly how you are babe. “ 

 

“ And because of what the doctor said - I’ve got you some food. “ 

 

Callum groaned, the moment ruined slightly. “ I’m already massive! “ 

 

“ and it ain’t suitable for the height you are! You’re basically underweight - it ain’t healthy for the babies! “ 

 

“ Bet this is just your weight fetish thing. “ 

 

“ Only for you. “ 

 

“ Kinky bastard. “ 

 

Ben rubbed Callum’s tight stomach. “ Only for you babe.” He repeated, flirtatiously. 

 

“ Come on then - let’s see what you’ve got. “ 

 

“ A family sized lasagna with leaves. “ 

 

Callum groaned in beautiful protest because that is his favourite meal. “ You are killing me Ben. “ 

 

“ And then we can have pudding in our bed. “ 

 

“ can I eat it off yew? “ 

 

Ben didn’t respond for a moment, kissing Callum on the lips again before cheekily biting his lower lip. 

 

“ like you have to ask. “ 

Chapter Text

Ten years on

Ben breathed in the fresh air Walford. It was still the same, nearly half of a lifetime and Ben never felt so at home before. Since Ben had been traveling around and since seeing Jay, Lex and Lola away from the square. It was time to be back.

Things had changed and some of it was Ben’s doing. Lola, Lex and jay wanting a new life away from Walford, now happily married. Ben single since the full filled burst up with Callum that broke them, broke their relationship.

Ben expected Callum to be single, or in a relationship.

Ben walked into the café and immediately spotted Callum was a bloke. Too close for Ben’s liking and then his chest and stomach churned as they kissed freely on the lips.

The bands on their fingers made the blood drain away. Married? They - his Callum is married? That should be him and Callum but since -

“ Love! Your back! “ Kathy burst into tears, running excitedly round the counter and hugging the life out of her son. Ben returned the hug and kiss on the cheek but still catching eyes with Callum.

Cold eyes.

Callum looked angry but retreated. Ben hated it. Both of the men stood up and Callum kissed him again as goodbye.

“ alright Cal? “ Ben announced with that smug smirk, shooting the bloke who kissed is Callum. Ben don’t care if he’s being petty - Callum is his - even after these painful 10yrs.

Callum’s eyebrows knitted together. Ben didn’t notice that but his body - he looked fitter now, than all those years ago. Callum’s hair styled to perfection, a light fit tan to his once pale skin.

Ben’s been missing out.

“ why yew ‘ere? “

“ Thought I’ll make an appearance. “

Kathy slapped her son’s arm. “ it’s been 4 years Ben! “

“ I’ve been busy! “

Callum scoffed. “ bet you have.” He muttered. Ben sighed heavily and shot his mum a look ‘ can u leave us? ‘

“ Can we talk? “

“ no. “ Callum didn’t miss a beat.

“ please cal. “

“ you lost that right ages ago, calling me that nickname. “

“ Please. “ Ben repeated, even more vulnerable. Callum sighed heavily and nodded shortly walking out of the café to his car.

Surprisingly Callum doesn’t live in the square as Ben assumed. He lives 30 minutes away from there. Ben doesn’t know why he would drive all the way there but Linda, mick and probably Stuart still live there.

And also what really made Ben shook was the fancy house Callum lives in. A fortune. Is Callum rich and his husband? ( Ben wanted to be his husband).

Callum entered his home and walked into the large kitchen starring at Ben with a dull look.

“ what do you want? “

“ I want you. “

“ You taking the fucking mick? “

Ben shook his head. “ no! I know it’s been 10yrs -“

“ - you’re too late. “

Ben swallowed the lump in his throat. “ I know a lot has changed-“

“ I’m married, I have a beautiful husband and have 3 gorgeous kids Ben. Why would I want to walk away from that? “

Ben couldn’t speak. He wants Callum, he misses him loves him still. “ because we’re soulmates.”

“ No we ain’t - you wouldn’t have broken me heart if you really loved me Ben. “

“ I didn’t mean to do it! “

“ what? Break me heart or wreck us? “

“ both! “

“ Leave. “

“ no! Not without you admitting you love me still! “ Callum couldn’t believe the audacity this man has to flounce back into his life and to announce his underlying love for him.

“ I don’t. I love Luke. “

“ Not like us though. What we had -“

“ yeh Ben had. What we had is gone. “

“ And we can still change it to now! Please I’m sorry -“

Callum groaned. “ what part of leave don’t yew understand? “

Ben stepped forward and cupped Callum’s stubble jaw. He had a proper beard now, it made him look even more handsome. The beard made him look stronger, less innocent. Ben missed the chances and that sweet Callum Highway isn’t here no more.

“ I know you love me. “

“ you are delusional. “

Ben bit his lip. He still sees it. The fire and spark in Callum’s eyes. That love is still there, still beating hard. Soulmates always find a way of reconnecting.

“ I will get you back Callum. “

“ why now? Why wait so long? “

“ I needed to be stable again. “

“ you’re too late. Everything has moved on. You’re still in the past Ben. “

“ And that’s what we are Yeh? The past? “ Ben broke.

Pause. Too long. “ it’s what we have to be. “

“ I still love you. “

“ I’ll always love you. “ Callum admitted heavily, now cupping Ben’s stubble jaw. God he is beautiful still. 33 years old and Ben still looks gorgeous, completely grown into his looks. “ But I have a life now. I love my family, what I have. Everyone has moved on, changed. You are too late. “

“ We’re never too late if we don’t try. I want to fight for us. “

Chapter Text

Ben and Callum both knew they suffered from nightmares. They both knew they kept it a secret and wouldn’t tell anyone, only each other reluctantly. That’s why both men are so linked with one and another, they understand each other and both have a deep understanding about child abuse, sexuality, crap parents ( Phil & Jonno ) and their struggles with needing to be strong and not weak.

When Ben is upset, he drinks, pushes people away and lashes out. To build a metaphorical barrier around himself to protect himself.

Callum has the similarities as Ben’s unhealthy coping mechanisms. He becomes withdrawn, drinks, sometimes turns the hot water to scalding and tries to hurt himself in silence.

When both men are mentally and physically hurting - they understand to a point of their trauma. Callum knows the triggers Ben has, who likes to avoid them or deny them as possible. But Callum can see straight through Ben and he is lowkey thankful because he don’t need to lie as much.

When Ben had a trigger it was in the middle of that night. When he dreamed of Stella, that night was made worse because he jumped off the bed. Into the darkness and he still heard Stella, she was coming closer to him, but, he couldn’t see or hear properly. So he was falling and stumbling into different, hard surfaces. The magic black room filled with harsh breaths and animal whimpers.

“ Cal - she’s here - help me! I can’t see nor ‘ear anything!! “

Callum never came. Ben was alone again, with Stella and - he was back at his house. Where he used to live in his late childhood days.

Ben ran. Stella came rushing, screaming and hysterically laughing. Ben cried. Sobbed. He felt beyond vulnerable now, reverted back to that child again.

“ leave me alone! “ He screeched. “ Your dead! “

“ no I ain’t! “ Stella told him straight, all teeth, all red eyes glaring into his soul.

“ please just - leave! “ Ben sobbed into his knees, wrapping his arms around his head into a fatal position.

“ Always a coward - forever a coward! When will you ever be a proper man!? “

And he flinched harshly at the human touch to his shoulder.

“ Ben -“

It sounded like he was underwater.

“ Ben yew okay? “

“ Stella? “ Ben grasped out. Voice sore and raw, like he’d been yelling on top of his lungs. Maybe he has?

“ It’s me Ben. Callum. “

Ben looked up and squinted. He saw the outlines of the man’s features, the man’s voice more recognisable now and Ben could finally breathe again. He leapt into Callum’s embrace, sobbing hysterically, clutching Callum’s t-shirt as he shook and shakes with the powerful cries of distress.

“ she was ‘ere! She - she was gunna get me again! “

“ she ain’t Ben, yew just had a nightmare-“

And from then on, Callum taught himself to not be a deep sleeper. He was a light sleeper now a days since the worst nightmare Ben has experienced. Ben always wrapped his body to Callum as humanly possible nowadays. To be protected, Callum was his safety blanket.

The same with Callum too. He had PTSD and his nightmares turned to daymares. The flashbacks of bombs, explosions, shouts, screams, Jonno, Stuart - Chris. The list will go on.

And Ben and Callum always supported each other. The nightmares they would make hot chocolate with marshmallows in & chocolate powder. If one of them couldn’t get back to sleep, if they just wanted to sit in silence with the other. To feel calm or too traumatised to get back to sleep again.

Ben always thought he was shit at advice. Callum told him repeatedly he isn’t. Ben always talks about how he copes to other that suggestion to his lover. Ben would stay up all night with Callum ( and vice versa ). Ben doesn’t need to say anything at all because he is good at non verbal communication, with all the unspoken words going into gentle touches, hugs, tears/hot chocolates. He just needs to be there.

That’s why Ben and Callum have found their match. They understand each other, relate to each other, had the ( about) same abuse and internal crisis about being gay.

That’s why every time someone says how do they get on so much. Why are they still together when they’re too completely different people?

Ben just says “ We’ve shared the same story but got different chapters of experiences. “

Chapter Text

Callum poured the scented rose oil into the hot ( but not too hot ) bath as the steaming water rose higher up Ben’s impregnated stomach.

“ Who knew Callum Highway could be so domestic? “ Ben purred, eyes closed and letting his head lean against the back of the bath.

“ Well I did get ya up the duff. “

“ twice. “

“ With twins. “ Callum reminded, stroking his fingers through the moist hair. He pressed a kiss to Ben’s clammy forehead and rubbed his bloated stomach.

“ I can’t wait for these two to meet ‘em -“ Ben murmured, lacing his fingers into Callum’s as they both rubbed his own stomach.

“ Me too. Abbé & Jamie will adore these two when they come. “

“ They haven’t stopped talking about them. “ A soft smirk crept onto Ben’s face.

“ I’m glad they are so excited though- not jealous. “

Ben opened his eyes and frowned. “ why would they be jealous. “

Callum looked tiny bit flustered that Ben didn’t get what he meant. “ Because these two are coming and we won’t be putting our attention on them no more.”

“ they won’t think that. “ Ben dismissed, only. “ Will they? “ Ben added now in doubt.

“ We’ll reassure them. And anyway they’re clever, they know we would need to put focus onto these two for a while. “ Callum pressed their joint hands down on Ben’s stomach and rubbed in a calming manner.

“ You know what I got Cal? “ Ben blurted out, out of the blue and Callum smirked.

“ A hard on? “ His eyes traveling down to Ben’s hard on, just about visible with his tummy shadowing it.

Ben hummed a laugh. “ a kink. “

“ oh? Another one ay? “

“ Yep. Guess wha’ it is. “

“ Size kink? “

“ more than that - more fuller. “ Ben let out the words slowly for his husband to get the hint.

Callum mocked gasped. “ a weight - feeding kink? Well I never knew that! “ he sarcastically stated dully. He knows his husband loves him feeing him & Callum would be lying if he said he didn’t enjoy feeding Ben. To watch the slight pounds make their way into Ben’s already beautiful ( yet delicate ) figure.

“ I love you feeding me, you rubbin me belly. “

“ i love feeling the weight slowly creepin on yew. “ Callum wetly kisses him. “ I love feeling your soft flesh and I want to kiss every stretch mark on yew body.”

“ You did the last time remember? “ Ben cocked an eyebrow, cupping his wet hand onto Callum’s stubble jaw. “ and you was so upset when I knocked all that weight off. “ he fake pouted, pretending hurt.

“ Very, very upset. “ Callum growled, biting Ben’s plump lip.
“ You was so handsome. Still were when you returned to your original size. “

“ I saw the way you looked at me. “

“ How did I look at you? “ Callum curiously replied, his fingers trailing up and down Ben’s front and his other hand forcefully gripping the handful of hair on Ben’s head.

“ Like you wanted to eat me - do all he sexual activities you wanted. “

“ and I did didn’t I? “

“ couldn’t walk for a week. “

Callum pressed another kiss to Ben’s lips, slipping a tongue in. “ You was eating none stop too. “

“Worked up an appetite didn’t I?”

“ and gained few pounds. “ Callum heartily stated. “ But you protecting our babies, keeping them warm and safe. “

Ben sat up and kneeled on his knees, knowing his stomach is pushing into the side of the bath but not knowledging it. He wrapped his arms around Callum’s neck and kissed him senseless.

“ you are so fit. “ Mitchell moans.

“ You ain’t so bad yew self. “

“ I want you. “

“ do something about it then. “ Callum challenged. Ben got out of the bath ( with Cal’s help ) and slipped his hands into Callum’s joggers rubbing the hard on.

“ I want to show you how much I love you. “

“ You -“

Ben silenced him. “ I want to show you hubby. “

“ Chubby. “ Callum pinched Ben’s love handle in a cheeky way. Who swatted his hand and Ben lightly bit his collarbone.

“ You gunna regret doing that. “ Ben loosely threatened, but his voice broke him from how turned on he currently was.

“ Less talking and more sucking.” Callum dominated him, turning him around and pushing Ben into the wall. They kissed passionately, hands running other flesh, wet skin sliding clothes -

“ I’m gunna wreck you. “